Early Detection of Melanoma

Protecting Your Skin Early Detection

You can find out how to detect the disease before it has a chance to grow and spread and take steps to discover melanoma at an earlier stage when treatment is more likely to result in a cure.

This is important because when melanoma is found and treated early, the chances for long-term survival are excellent. As melanoma progresses, it becomes increasingly harder to treat and has a worse outcome. Five-year survival rates for patients with early stage (Stage I melanoma) are greater than 90% to 95%.1 Overall, 85% of all diagnosed patients enjoy long term survival after simple tumor surgery.2

The first sign of melanoma is often a change in the size, shape, or color of an existing mole or the appearance of a new mole. Since the vast majority of primary melanomas are visible on the skin, there is a good chance of detecting the disease in its early stages.


1. Balch CM, Buzaid AC, Soong S-J, et al. Final version of the American Joint Committee on Cancer Staging System for Cutaneous Melanoma. J Clin Oncol. 2001;19(16):3635-3648.
2. Lotze MT, Dallal RM, Kirkwood JM, Flickinger JC. Cutaneous Melanoma. In: DeVita VT, Rosenberg SA, Hellman S, eds.

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