(Cutaneous Melanoma; Malignant Melanoma)
- Certain types of moles called dysplastic nevi, or atypical moles
- Large nevi present at birth
- Fair skin, freckling
- Red or blonde hair
- Light-colored eyes
- Caucasian race
- Family members with melanoma
- Excessive skin exposure to the sun without protective clothing or sunscreen
- Suppressed immune system
- Uneven shape—one half does not match the shape of the other half
- Ragged edges—ragged, notched, blurred, or irregular; pigment may spread into surrounding skin
- Uneven color—color is uneven with shades of black, brown, or tan, and possibly even white, gray, pink, red, or blue
- Change—usually growing larger, changing shape, changing color, or changing texture
- Large size—usually larger than the eraser of a pencil (5 millimeters or ¼ inch)
|Sign of Potential Melanoma|
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- Avoid spending too much time in the sun.
Protect your skin from the sun:
- Wear a shirt, wide-brim hat, and sunglasses.
- Use sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
Avoid exposure from:
- 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (standard time)
- 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (daylight savings time)
- Avoid sun lamps and tanning booths.
- See your doctor if you think you have melanoma.
- If you have many moles or a family history of melanoma, have your skin checked regularly for changes in moles.
- Ask your doctor to show you how to do a skin self-exam. Do self-exams to look for any new or changing moles.
American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
Skin Cancer Foundation http://www.skincancer.org
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Canadian Dermatology Association http://www.dermatology.ca
Melanoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated April 3, 2013. Accessed April 9, 2013.
Melanoma. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/melanoma. Accessed April 9, 2013.
Melanoma skin cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: hhttp://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003120-pdf.pdf. Updated January 17, 2013. Accessed April 9, 2013.
Physician quality reporting system quality measures. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://dynamed.ebscohost.com. Updated February 5, 2013. Accessed April 9, 2013.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 04/2013 -
- Update Date: 04/09/2013 -