Chaos a clue to malignancy

A close look at concentric patterns

Natural forces such as gravity and biological feedback mechanisms favour symmetry, and so it is no surprise that both complex organisms and benign lesions tend to be symmetrical.

Malignant cells defy natural feedback mechanisms and the resulting morphological chaos is an invaluable clue to diagnosis.

This has been recognised in diagnostic methods for pigmented skin lesions in algorithms such as the clinical ABCD method, the ‘beauty and the beast’ sign, and all of the published dermatoscopic methods which each have asymmetry as a fundamental clue to malignancy.