Melanomas present on the skin with brownish spots, irregular lesions or moles that change color and size, according to the Mayo Clinic. Melanomas are the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reports that scalp melanomas are associated with higher mortality.
Any bump, lesion or irregular mark on the skin should be subject to examination, explains the Mayo Clinic. Melanomas occur on clear skin as well as on areas with existing moles. They may appear simply as an irregular mole or spot or as a lesion in conjunction with bleeding.
Melanomas occur on all parts of the body regardless of sun exposure, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill notes that survival rates differ in relation to the location of the melanoma. Melanomas on the scalp and neck are more dangerous, with mortality rates as much as 1.84 times higher than melanomas on other parts of the body, as of 2015. This could be due to scalp cancer being less detectable, leading to a delay in diagnosis. However, there may also be an inherent difference in scalp cancer that contributes to the higher mortality, such as lymph node involvement being more common in scalp melanoma.