Malignant Melanoma is one of the fastest growing fatal cancers in the UK. The number of new cases diagnosed has increased significantly. Melanoma is the least common but most serious type of skin cancer, with approximately 12,000 new cases diagnosed in the UK each year.
High risk groups for developing melanomas include:
- Fair skinned individuals whose skin burns easily upon exposure to UV radiation. Skin types I and II (however, cases arise in darker skin tones as well)
- Those individuals who have already had melanoma or if a blood relative has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the past
- Those with atypical mole syndrome, also known as Familial Atypical Mole Malignant Melanoma syndrome (FAMMM)
The melanoma can develop quickly and is the most serious form of skin cancer. Regular check-ups are therefore extremely necessary for their early detection, as the consequences are preventable.
Our practice focuses on early detection and diagnosis.
ABCD's of Melanoma
A sudden or continuous change in the appearance of a mole is a sign that you should see your doctor. The ABCD rule can help you remember the symptoms of melanoma:
A for Asymmetry
One half is different than the other half.
B for Border Irregularity
The edges are notched, uneven, or blurred.
C for Colour
The colour is uneven. Shades of brown, tan, and black are present.
D for Diameter
Diameter is greater than 6 millimeters.
Other Warning Signs:
- Appearance of a new bump or nodule
- Colour spreads into surrounding skin
- Redness or swelling beyond the mole
- Scaly appearance