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What are the symptoms of malignant melanoma?

When looking for malignant melanoma, look for symptoms that include changes in shape, border or colors of a lesion. If these changes are occurring over weeks to months, consider making an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist.

Early malignant melanoma can appear without warning but may develop from or near a mole. Use "ABCDE" to remember the signs and symptoms of this type of cancer:

  • Asymmetry: One-half of the mole doesn't match the other.
  • Border: Edges of the mole are ragged.
  • Color: Pigmentation is not uniform and may spread into the surrounding skin.
  • Diameter: Mole's diameter is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
  • Elevation: Mole is raised above the skin and has an uneven surface.

Any one—or all—of these traits may indicate malignant melanoma. If you see any of these, schedule an appointment with your doc.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.