HEALTH ENCYCLOPEDIA

Diseases & Conditions A - Z
powered by Talix

Melanoma Symptoms

Melanoma can appear on normal skin, or it may develop around an existing mole. If the melanoma is detected early, before it has the chance to spread, it is much more likely to be cured. A new spot on the skin that has changed in size, shape, or color is a major warning sign for melanoma.

Referring to the ABCDE rule can be a useful guide for recognizing symptoms.

  • Asymmetry: one half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other half.
  • Borders: irregular, ragged, or blurred edges of a mole.
  • Color: irregular color, ranging from shades of black, brown, or tan (sometimes pink, white, red, or blue) within one sore.
  • Diameter: the spot is typically (not always) larger than 6 mm in diameter—the size of a pencil eraser.
  • Evolving: this is a new addition to the former ABCD list; it acknowledges that if a mole changes—in any way—this is good cause to see your doctor. (This is the latest addition to the standard list).

Self-Examinations

Take control of your health. Whether you are a person who is at a high risk for melanoma or not, health experts recommend taking a proactive approach by performing self-exams to check for any skin changes. Check regularly, and alert your doctor if you see anything that looks suspicious. Remember—you know your body best!

Helpful Tips:

  • Remember to check your scalp, and along the hairline.
  • Don’t be shy: if you’re examining a hard-to-see area, ask a partner or friend to help.
  • Write down the size, location, and appearance of all moles and birthmarks. 
  • You can refer to this next time to see if there have been any changes.

Keep a Record:

  • Write down the size, location, and appearance of all moles and birthmarks.
  • You can refer to this next time to see if there have been any changes.

Content licensed from:

Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Published on: Jun 15, 2011
Medically reviewed : [Ljava.lang.Object;@71a147f4

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your health care provider. Please consult a health care professional with any health concerns you may have.
health
TOOLS
Symptom Search
Enter your symptoms in our Symptom Checker to find out possible causes of your symptoms. Go.
Drug Interaction Checker
Enter any list of prescription drugs and see how they interact with each other and with other substances. Go.
Pill Identifier
Enter its color and shape information, and this tool helps you identify it. Go.
Drugs A-Z
Find information on drug interactions, side effects, and more. Go.
Advertisement

 

 

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Member Benefits AT&T Wireless Cell Phone

Members save 10% on the monthly service charge of qualified AT&T wireless plans.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $9.50 for Regal ePremiere Tickets purchased online.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members earn points on select Walgreens-brand health and wellness products.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Advertisement