Methods of Early Detection
Melanoma can appear suddenly. 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.
To screen yourself, first you must know what the moles, blemishes, freckles, or other marks on your skin look like. That way, you can be aware of any changes in the future. It is recommend that you perform a complete self-skin examination once every month. It is also useful to see a physician for a complete skin exam before you begin self-exams so that a baseline of “normal” can be established. From that point on, you can watch for changes.
A 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 is most often found between the shoulders and hips or the head and neck area.
In women, melanoma is most often found on the lower legs as well as between the shoulders and hips.