Melanoma is a type of skin cancer, a disease that occurs when the skin cells in your body fail to divide resulting in an abnormal growing pattern. This type of skin cancer is uncommon, but has the potential to be serious.
Being able to recognize the symptoms of melanoma will help reduce the risk of metastasis, or spread, the disease before diagnosis. The symptoms involve any type of mole or growth, particularly new moles or growths, on the surface of the skin. Any type of change, such as the size, shape, or color, of any growths or moles that are already present.
A normal growth of a freckle or a mole is most commonly black or brown in color. They are sometimes rounded or have a definite shape to them of a regular pattern. A growth or mole that is at risk for melanoma would not have this type of shape. Instead it would be asymmetric in shape and it would generally not have a well-defined border. In other words, the borders would have a haphazard appearance with an irregular shape to it.
A melanoma will also likely be a blend of shades, perhaps containing many colors, which could include black, brown, white, red, and even blue tinged tint. Other things to look for when observing the possibilities of a melanoma would be a drainage of some sort. A mole or growth that is larger than the tip of an eraser head should also alert you to the potential risk of melanoma.
Symptoms of melanoma can appear at any time in your life so you should always be close attention to your body and know your usual skin markings. Examining your body regularly should be part of your daily health regimen.
A quick look after bathing would be a perfect time to check yourself for any abnormalities. A close inspection, not forgetting the small areas, such as between the digits of your fingers and toes is an important part of your health care routine. Also, do not forget to check the most overlooked areas of your scalp, your face, and your neck.
Upon routine inspection of your body, be alert and see your physician if you notice any of the above symptoms of cancer. Report to your physician any possible suspicious areas or even the areas that you are unsure of. It is better to be safe and overly cautious then to be in doubt about any possible areas of suspected melanoma.
Paying close attention to your body’s distress signs and symptoms can detect early signs of possible cancer and allow your health care provider the advantage of early treatment. Early treatment could possibly mean a greater chance of recovery if you should have a melanoma and give you the best advantage in your future health.
National Cancer Insitute: Symptoms of Melanoma
Cancer Research UK: Melanoma Skin Cancer
American Academy of Dermatology: Melanoma: Signs and Symptoms
Stanford Medicine: Signs and Symptoms of Melanoma
Cancer Coucil NSW: Understanding Melanoma