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Melanoma Signs and Symptoms

Melanoma is a deeply rooted skin cancer that arises from the melanocytes, a type of cells found in moles that produce melanin.  Melanoma is the least common of all skin cancers, but it is the most serious since it can metastasize to other organs through the lymph nodes. Melanoma causes seventy-five percent of all deaths linked to skin cancer. We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of melanoma below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Signs and Symptoms of Melanoma are as follows:

  • A freckle or a mole with an irregular border that is dark brown or black
  • A change in an existing mole
  • The development of a new mole or growth
  • Moles greater than 6 mm
  • Moles that grow over time
  • Moles with an irregular shape
  • Moles that itch
  • Moles that bleed
  • Moles that are elevated and firm to the touch

Severe sunburns as a child boosts melanoma risk, as does the use of tanning beds. People who use tanning beds before age thirty are seventy percent more likely to be at risk for developing the signs and symptoms of melanoma. In some cases, melanoma runs in families, due to genetic mutations.

Early stage melanomas are ninety to one hundred percent curable.



Diagnosis of Melanoma

A diagnosis of melanoma is more frequent in women than men, in Caucasians, and in people who live in sunny climates or at a higher elevation. The only way to make an accurate diagnosis of melanoma is with a biopsy of the suspicious mole.


Books for People With Signs and Symptoms of Melanoma

What You Really Need to Know about Moles and Melanoma (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)
Jill R. Schofield
Beating Melanoma: A Five-Step Survival Guide (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)
Steven Q. Wang


Melanoma: Prevention, Detection, and Treatment; Second Edition (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)
Catherine M. Poole
The Melanoma Book : A Complete Guide to Prevention and Treatment, Including the Early DetectionSelf-Exam Body Map
Howard L. Kaufman

Melanoma Resources

General Patient Resources

  • Melanoma . com

Your source for facts on melanoma — reliable and understandable. Here, you’ll find answers about treatment options, talking to your doctor, and making the most of your resources.

http://www.melanoma.com/

  • National Cancer Institute

Information about melanoma treatment, prevention, causes, screening, clinical trials, research, and other topics from the National Cancer Institute.

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/melanoma

  • Melanoma Research Foundation

Information about melanoma treatment, prevention, causes, screening, clinical trials, research and patient community

http://www.melanoma.org/

  • Medicine Net . com

Get information on melanoma signs, diagnosis, staging, prognosis and symptoms. Learn about early detection, treatment side effects, prevention and more.

http://www.medicinenet.com/melanoma/article.htm

  • Derm Net NZ

Authoritative facts about the skin from the New Zealand Dermatological Society.

http://www.dermnetnz.org/lesions/melanoma.html

  • Cancer Compass

Find integrated support resources for cancer patients at our helpful online melanoma forum. Join now to research your options and get the in-depth information you need to make an informed decision about your skin cancer treatment strategy.

http://www.cancercompass.com/message-board/cancers/melanoma/1,0,119,11.htm

  • Melanoma International Foundation

The Melanoma International Foundation provides education, and personalized assistance. Blogs, forums, melanoma news. This forum is moderated by specialists in melanoma, primarily by volunteer dermatologists and oncologists on a weekly basis.

http://forum.melanomaintl.org/toastforums/toast.asp



Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms and treatment of malignant melanoma skin cancer. Includes pictures.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/melanoma/DS00439

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/melanoma.html

  • Pub Med Health

Reviews causes, incidence, risk factors, symptoms, treatment, prognosis and complications.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001853/