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What are some of the first signs of melanoma?

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Quick Answer

Some of the first signs of melanoma are a spot on the skin appearing, a spot on the skin changing and a sore not healing, according to the American Cancer Society. Melanoma can be initially diagnosed by its appearance.

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Full Answer

A mole or mark on the skin may be a sign of melanoma if it contains changes in its appearance or sensation, notes the ACS. These changes may include new swelling, redness, itchiness, tenderness or pigment growing outside of the spot’s border.

Diagnose a spot on the skin for cancer by using the acronym ABCDE, which stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter and evolving, according to the ACS. The skin mark may be a sign of melanoma if it is not symmetrical, and it may be a warning sign if its border is notched, blurred, ragged or irregular. A skin mark with varying colors may be reason for concern. Melanoma is often shown by a spot on the skin being larger than ¼-inch in diameter, though melanomas have been smaller. Another warning sign is if the spot changes in shape, color or size.

If the mole or spot looks different from the other moles or spots on skin, it may be a sign of melanoma, explains the ACS. If there are any concerns or warning signs, have the skin spot checked by a doctor.

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