Symptoms of melanoma are growths on the skin. These growths usually appear as a change in a mole that you already have or as a new skin growth. Generally, they're found on skin that's exposed to the sun, but they can form anywhere on the skin, including under fingernails and even internally. Normal moles usually have smooth edges, are symmetrical, and have a uniform color, so if you notice a mole that doesn't fit those characteristics, you should see a doctor. Other symptoms of melanoma include itchiness, scaliness, or oozing. Since symptoms vary from person to person, it's important to see a doctor if you think you may have melanoma.
A Answers (5)
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Most melanomas start as a new skin growth on unmarked skin. The growth may change color, shape or size. These types of changes are an early sign that the growth is melanoma. But melanoma can also develop in an existing mole or other mark on the skin.
Melanoma can grow anywhere on the body. It most often occurs on the upper back of men and women and on the legs in women. Less often, it can grow on the soles, palms, nail beds, or mucous membranes that line body cavities such as the mouth, the rectum and the vagina.
On older people, the face is the most common place for melanoma to grow. And in older men, the most common sites are the neck, scalp and ears. 1Signs of melanoma
The most important warning sign for melanoma is any change in size, shape or color of a mole or other skin growth, such as a birthmark. Watch for changes that occur over a period of weeks to a month. The ABCDE system tells you what changes to look for.
- A is for asymmetry. One half of the mole or skin growth doesn't match the other half.
- B is for border irregularity. The edges are ragged, notched or blurred.
- C is for color. The color is not the same throughout the mole.
- D is for diameter. The mole or skin growth is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
- E is for evolution. There is a change in the size, shape, symptoms (such as itching or tenderness), surface (especially bleeding), or color of a mole.
Signs of melanoma in an existing mole include changes in:
- Elevation, such as thickening or raising of a previously flat mole.
- Surface, such as scaling, erosion, oozing, bleeding or crusting.
- Surrounding skin, such as redness, swelling or small new patches of color around a larger lesion (satellite pigmentations).
- Sensation, such as itching, tingling, burning or pain.
- Consistency, such as softening or small pieces that break off easily.
Many other skin conditions (such as seborrheic keratosis, warts, and basal cell cancer ) have features similar to those of melanoma.Signs of melanoma that has spread
Symptoms of melanoma that has spread ( metastatic melanoma ) may be vague. They include swollen lymph nodes, especially in the armpit or groin and a colorless lump or thickening under the skin.
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Melanoma is usually identified in a pre-existing mole. That said, any time a skin lesion changes in size or color, starts to itch or becomes red, tender and painful to the touch, it should be examined by a physician. In cases of advanced (metastatic) melanoma, patients may also experience swollen lymph nodes, especially in the groin or axilla, unexplained weight loss, grey skin (melanosis), chronic cough, headaches or seizures.
Riverside Cancer Care Center answered
These and other symptoms may be caused by melanoma. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:
A mole that:
- Changes in size, shape, or color
- Has an irregular edge or borders
- Is more than 1 color
- Is asymmetrical (if the mole is divided in half, the 2 halves are different in size or shape)
- Oozes, bleeds, or is ulcerated (a hole forms in the skin when the top layer of cells breaks down and the underlying tissue shows through)
- Change in pigmented (colored) skin
- Satellite moles (new moles that grow near an existing mole)
This answer is based on source material from the National Cancer Institute.
Robin Miller, Integrative Medicine, answeredMelanomas are usually painless. The signs of a melanoma are detected by following the A, B, C, D, and E mnemonic, which helps to look for the following:
Asymmetry- If the mole is asymmetrical (meaning that one half has a different shape than the other half) then the mole is suspect.
Border- If it has an irregular border it needs to be evaluated.
Color- If it is more than one color or changing colors it is time to see the doctor.
Diameter- If the diameter is larger than the top of a pencil eraser it needs to be evaluated.
Evolving or expanding- If the mole is changing it is time to get it checked out by your doctor.
It is important to check your moles on a regular basis. If melanoma is detected early, the survival rate is 99 percent.