Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. It may start from a mole or arise on normal skin. If melanoma is detected early, it is classically curable. However, if melanoma spreads from the skin to lymph glands and other organs, it is often fatal.

The risk factors for melanoma include: fair skin, reddish hair, numerous moles, numerous freckles, a history of sunburns (particularly in youth), a personal or family history of numerous atypical (dysplastic) moles


The A, B, C, D, E, Identification Approach

To help you identify characteristics of unusual moles that may indicate melanomas or other skin cancers, think of the letters A-B-C-D-E:

A. is for asymmetrical shape. Look for moles with irregular shapes, such as two very different-looking halves.

B. is for irregular border. Look for moles with irregular, notched or scalloped borders characteristics of melanomas.

C. is for changes in color. Look for growths that have many colors or an uneven distribution of color.

D. is for diameter. Look for new growth in a mole larger than 1/4 inch (about 6 millimeters).

E. is for evolving. Look for changes over time, such as a mole that grows in size or that changes color or shape. Moles may also evolve to develop new signs and symptoms, such as new itchiness or bleeding.

Schedule A Consultation

Thank you for your interest in our clinic.

Medical Dermatology appointments require a referral from your Family Doctor or General Practitioner, while Cosmetic procedures do not.

A fee of $100 will be charged should you choose not to obtain a referral for any Medical appointments. Please contact us at 403-457-1900 or email us at if you are unclear as to whether your issue is Medical or Cosmetic.

Also, you are welcome to use the platform for secure electronic dermatology consultations.

Here’s What Our Patients Are Saying…

“I see Dr. Alanan regularly for many skin problems and he never has a problem discussing them in the same visit. He’s also solved all my skin related issues that I’ve struggled with for years that family physicians couldn’t sufficiently resolve. I highly recommend Dr. Alanen and his clinic as his treatment and care is second to none.
-Kevin L.