Melanomas can be extremely dangerous, and it is critical to catch them early. They may occur at any age and are characterized by larger size and irregular surface and border. If melanomas are found early, they are easily curable.


Spots or dark moles suspicious for melanoma usually show one or more of the following symptoms and signs (the ABCDE’s):

  • Asymmetry
  • Border irregularity
  • Color changes or too many colors in one mole
  • Diameter more than 6 mm (size of a pencil eraser)
  • Evolving or changing over time

Risk factors for melanoma include:

  • Fair skin
  • Light hair and light eyes
  • History of intense sun exposure
  • Family history


Doctor marking melanoma on woman's shoulder.


Melanoma is initially treated by surgically removing the cancerous area. If cancer has progressed, other extensive treatment options are used:

  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

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Doctor examining woman's elbow.
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