How do you know if a mole is melanoma?

What does a melanoma mole feel like?

Also, when melanoma develops in an existing mole, the texture of the mole may change and become hard or lumpy. The skin lesion may feel different and may itch, ooze, or bleed, but a melanoma skin lesion usually does not cause pain.

How big does a mole have to be for melanoma?

Melanomas are often larger than 6 mm (1/4 inch) in diameter. However, with increased awareness about early detection, about 30% of melanomas are found when they are less than 6 mm in diameter.

Can a doctor tell if a mole is cancerous just by looking at it?

A visual check of your skin only finds moles that may be cancer. It can’t tell you for sure that you have it. The only way to diagnose the condition is with a test called a biopsy.

What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?

Stage I melanoma is no more than 1.0 millimeter thick (about the size of a sharpened pencil point), with or without an ulceration (broken skin). There is no evidence that Stage I melanoma has spread to the lymph tissues, lymph nodes, or body organs.

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When should a mole be checked?

It’s important to get a new or existing mole checked out if it:

  • changes shape or looks uneven.
  • changes colour, gets darker or has more than 2 colours.
  • starts itching, crusting, flaking or bleeding.
  • gets larger or more raised from the skin.

Are melanomas flat or raised?

The most common type of melanoma usually appears as a flat or barely raised lesion with irregular edges and different colours. Fifty per cent of these melanomas occur in preexisting moles.

What does Stage 1 melanoma mean?

In Stage I melanoma, the cancer cells are in both the first and second layers of the skin—the epidermis and the dermis. A melanoma tumor is considered Stage I if it is up to 2 mm thick, and it may or may not have ulceration. There is no evidence the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or distant sites (metastasis).

How quickly does melanoma spread?

Melanoma can grow very quickly. It can become life-threatening in as little as 6 weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun. Nodular melanoma is a highly dangerous form of melanoma that looks different from common melanomas.

Does melanoma show up in routine blood work?

Blood tests. Blood tests aren’t used to diagnose melanoma, but some tests may be done before or during treatment, especially for more advanced melanomas. Doctors often test blood for levels of a substance called lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) before treatment.

What are the chances of my mole being cancerous?

Risk Factors

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The risk of an atypical mole becoming cancerous is about 1%, compared to . 03% for an ordinary mole. In addition to atypical moles, risk factors for developing melanoma include: Red or blond hair.