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Re: Melanomas Are Often Not on Moles

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So I just saw a new spot on my skin and was trying to determine if it was melanoma or just another age spot. You see, I've insisted DH and myself  go to the doc for everything from new freckles to questionable growths (which they've frozen off). I don't know about you, but I don't like to take chances where melanoma is concerned.


Anyway, the Dr Mirkin newsletter popped in right after I saw the spot. The melanoma images (you'll have to click the link above) suggest that this, too is just an age spot. Now, do I call or do I not ... Smiley Happy


"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Melanomas Are Often Not on Moles

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From Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health e-Zine
September 24, 2017
Melanomas Are Often Not on Moles
Malignant melanomas are skin cancers that can spread rapidly through your body and kill you. For many years we have been told to watch existing moles for changes that may signal a melanoma, but a new review of 38 studies covering 20,126 melanomas shows that fewer than 30 percent of melanomas are found on moles (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, August 29, 2017). More than 70 percent of melanomas show up on previously normal skin. They may look like a new mole or may not even be easily visible. This new information means that you should check your skin often and have any change examined immediately by a dermatologist, in addition to your yearly or more frequent regular check-up.

Doctors can predict whether a melanoma has already spread to other parts of the body by measuring its thickness. Those that start in moles are usually thinner and therefore have a better prognosis. You should still watch any existing moles you may have for changes, using the mnemonic "ABCDE":

Asymmetry: One half of the spot does not match the other half.
Border Irregularity: The most significant predictor of malignancy is an irregular border, with ragged or blurred edges. Moles that have perfect circular borders are almost never melanomas.
Color: Colors vary from darker to lighter or have shades of tan, brown, black, red, white or blue.
Diameter: Larger than a pencil eraser, 1/4 inch or 6 mm.
Evolution: It has changed in any way -- increased in size, changed shape or color, or has started bleeding or become itchy, sensitive or painful. Diagrams
So what are the risk factors? How can you predict the seriousness of melanoma? Read the rest on Dr Mirkin's Web site: 
"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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