According to the Hospital Authority’s cancer statistics in 2014, non-melanoma skin cancer is the eighth most common cancer in Hong Kong, and the number of new cases continues to grow each year.

Detecting Skin Cancer

You may have moles or dark patches on your skin that are flat or slightly raised. Usually these will remain harmless. But moles or patches of normal skin that change in size, shape or colour should be examined by your doctor.

What should I be looking out for?

Get to know your skin so you can spot any changes. When checking your skin use the ABCD (see below) rule as a reminder of the warning signs of malignant melanoma. Remember to also look out for changes that may indicate non-melanoma skin cancer.

The ABCDE rule

If you notice any of the following signs, please see your doctor immediately:

  • Asymmetry - the two halves of your mole do not look the same
  • Border - the edges of your mole are irregular, blurred or jagged
  • Colour - the colour of your mole is uneven, with more than one shade
  • Diameter - your mole is wider than 6mm in diameter (the size of a pencil eraser)
  • Evolving - your mole starts to evolve or change in any way.

What if I notice a change?

If you are concerned about skin changes, please visit your doctor immediately. Any change in a mole, freckle or normal patch of skin that occurs quickly, over weeks or months, should be taken seriously.