- Asymmetry – both halfs look different
- Border – uneven edge.
- Color – uniform or different colors.
- Evolution – color or shape can change over time.
Biopsies can confirm or rule out melanoma. During a biopsy, a doctor will usually remove either a small sample or the whole abnormal area. If it is melanoma, it will be staged. This tells us how deep in the skin and how far inside the body the melanoma has spread. This helps direct treatment.
How is melanoma treated?
- Surgery – Removes the cancer. During surgery, lymph nodes are checked to see if the melanoma has spread inside the body.
- Radiation therapy – Radiation kills cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy – Medicines that kill cancer cells.
You will need to be monitored to see if the melanoma comes back or if new melanomas appear. Blood tests and imaging tests may be ordered.
Can melanoma be prevented?
Protect your skin from the sun’s rays.
- Stay out of the sun in the middle of the day (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
- Wear sunscreen and reapply it often
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt, or long pants
- Do not use tanning beds.