|What Does Melanoma Look Like ?
Melanoma usually have an asymmetrical shape, with edgy border and having variety of color including tan, dark brown, black, blue and occasionally light grey, and they measure more than 1/4 inch in diameter.
A melanoma may be detected in its early stages when the mole is only few millimeters in diameter. It is important to differentiate between an ordinary harmless mole and a mole that can grow into malignant melanoma. An ordinary mole is usually symmetrical in shape and has smooth surface. They have even borders and stay the same size and colors for years. Ordinary moles are usually brown or light yellowish brown in color.
Moles that develop into melanoma have certain unusual characteristics. They tend to appear different from ordinary harmless moles. Melanomas are generally asymmetric in shape and have uneven borders. They have patchy colors and have diameter larger than 1/4 inch. An easy way of identifying changes of significance in a mole is by following ABCD rule (where A stands for asymmetry, B stands for border, C stands for color and D stands for diameter). If you notice any change in shape, size, color or diameter of the mole or the mole does not look like any other ordinary mole, you must consult your doctor as it may be the early sign or symptoms of melanoma.
Sometimes, one of the signs or symptoms of ABCD rule is missing in the potential mole thus making it difficult to distinguish melanoma from an ordinary mole. If you have such a doubt, you must get it examined by dermatologist. Thinner melanoma is usually removed through surgery. For later stage melanoma i.e. thick melanomas that have spread to other parts of the body, need other treatment options besides surgery.
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