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What Are The Symptoms Of Melanoma?
Melanoma is often painless and usually produces the following signs:
- A change in the size, color, shape, or feel of an existing mole
- The appearance of a new growth or mole on the skin
Need To Know:
What changes in moles or freckles can indicate cancer?
Melanomas may form from an existing mole or freckle, or begin to grow from a normal-appearing area of the skin. Any change in a mole’s appearance or the growth of a new mole may be a sign of skin cancer. Suspicious moles or freckles should be checked by a doctor.
Melanomas vs. normal moles:
Melanomas often show the ABCD symptoms:
Watch for the ABCD signs when doing skin self-examination. Regular skin self-examination allows individuals to keep watch on moles and other skin growths. When existing growths change or new growths appear, check with the doctor. Like other forms of cancer, melanoma is most curable when diagnosed and treated early.
Your chances of finding skin cancer can be improved by performing a regular skin examination at home. Follow these tips:
By checking your skin regularly, you will become familiar with what is normal. If you find anything unusual, see your doctor right away. Remember, the earlier skin cancer is found, the better the chance for cure.
The following self-exam routine should take no more than 15 minutes:
Nice To Know:
Q. My mother had melanoma. I’m worried that I may get it, too, especially because I have a lot of moles on my skin. What kind of medical checkups are recommended?
A. Melanoma does run in families. If your parents had melanoma, your own risk may be higher than normal – especially if you have many moles of a certain kind. Your primary care doctor should do a total skin examination at each routine physical examination. That involves inspecting every inch of your skin, including the genital region and the area between the buttocks. If the doctor spots suspicious growths, you’ll probably get a referral to a