Methods of Early Detection
Become familiar with the pattern of moles, blemishes, freckles, and other marks on your skin.
Melanoma can appear suddenly. 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.
Melanoma can develop anywhere on the skin, but it is important to be aware that it may occur in different places in men and women:
In men, melanoma most often develops between the shoulders and hips or the head and neck area.
In women, melanomas are often found on the lower legs as well as between the shoulders and hips.
To screen yourself, first you must know what the moles, blemishes, freckles, or other marks on your skin look like. In this way, you can be aware of any changes in the future. We recommend a complete self-skin examination once every month. It is also useful to see a physician for a complete skin exam as one begins self-exams so that a baseline of “normal” can be established and from that point on changes can be watched for.