Monday, September 26, 2022
HomeMelanomaWhat Does Melanoma On Back Look Like

What Does Melanoma On Back Look Like

When Should I Call My Doctor

What do melanomas look like?

You should have a skin examination by a doctor if you have any of the following:

  • A personal history of skin cancer or atypical moles .
  • A family history of skin cancer.
  • A history of intense sun exposure as a young person and painful or blistering sunburns.
  • New or numerous large moles.
  • A mole that changes in size, color or shape.
  • Any mole that itches, bleeds or is tender.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Receiving a diagnosis of melanoma can be scary. Watch your skin and moles for any changes and seeing your doctor regularly for skin examinations, especially if youre fair-skinned, will give you the best chances for catching melanoma early when its most treatable.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/21/2021.

References

Squamous Cell Skin Cancers

Squamous cell skin cancers can vary in how they look. They usually occur on areas of skin exposed to the sun like the scalp or ear.

Thanks to Dr Charlotte Proby for her permission and the photography.

You should see your doctor if you have:

  • a spot or sore that doesn’t heal within 4 weeks
  • a spot or sore that hurts, is itchy, crusty, scabs over, or bleeds for more than 4 weeks
  • areas where the skin has broken down and doesn’t heal within 4 weeks, and you can’t think of a reason for this change

Your doctor can decide whether you need any tests.

  • Cancer and its management J Tobias and D HochhauserBlackwell, 2015

  • Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology VT De Vita, TS Lawrence and SA RosenbergWolters Kluwer, 2018

Signs And Symptoms Of Melanoma

The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole.

This can happen anywhere on the body, but the most commonly affected areas are the back in men and the legs in women.

Melanomas are uncommon in areas that are protected from sun exposure, such as the buttocks and the scalp.

In most cases, melanomas have an irregular shape and are more than 1 colour.

The mole may also be larger than normal and can sometimes be itchy or bleed.

Look out for a mole that gradually changes shape, size or colour.

Superficial spreading melanoma are the most common type of melanoma in the UK.

They’re more common in people with pale skin and freckles, and much less common in people with darker skin.

They initially tend to grow outwards rather than downwards, so they do not pose a problem.

But if they grow downwards into the deeper layers of skin, they can spread to other parts of the body.

You should see a GP if you have a mole that’s getting bigger, particularly if it has an irregular edge.

Recommended Reading: What Kind Of Doctor Checks For Skin Cancer

Is Melanoma Raised Or Flat

Melanoma occurs when the pigment cells, or melanocytes, in the skin become cancerous. Skin lesions due to melanoma may be raised or flat and are often dark brown or black. However, color variation within the lesion is very common with melanoma. This can include variable shades of brown, black, red, blue and even white.

What Does Skin Melanoma Look Like

Skin cancer images on back NISHIOHMIYA

Melanomas can vary greatly in how they look. Many show all of the ABCDE features. However, some may show changes or abnormal areas in only one or two of the ABCDE features. In.These characteristics are used by dermatologists to classify melanomas of the skin. Look for these signs: Asymmetry, irregular Borders, more than one or uneven distribution of Color, or a.These melanoma pictures can help you determine what to look for. The American Academy of Dermatology advises that you watch skin spots for these features: Asymmetry. Border.

You May Like: Can Basal Cell Carcinoma Become Malignant

Melanoma Can Be Tricky

Identifying a potential skin cancer is not easy, and not all melanomas follow the rules. Melanomas come in many forms and may display none of the typical warning signs.

Its also important to note that about 20 to 30 percent of melanomas develop in existing moles, while 70 to 80 percent arise on seemingly normal skin.

Amelanotic melanomas are missing the dark pigment melanin that gives most moles their color. Amelanotic melanomas may be pinkish, reddish, white, the color of your skin or even clear and colorless, making them difficult to recognize.

Acral lentiginous melanoma, the most common form of melanoma found in people of color, often appears in hard-to-spot places, including under the fingernails or toenails, on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

The takeaway: Be watchful for any new mole or freckle that arises on your skin, a sore or spot that does not heal, any existing mole that starts changing or any spot, mole or lesion that looks unusual.

Acral lentiginous melanoma is the most common melanoma found in people of color.

How Is Melanoma Diagnosed

If you have a mole or other spot that looks suspicious, your doctor may remove it and look at it under the microscope to see if it contains cancer cells. This is called a biopsy.

After your doctor receives the skin biopsy results showing evidence of melanoma cells, the next step is to determine if the melanoma has spread. This is called staging. Once diagnosed, melanoma will be categorized based on several factors, such as how deeply it has spread and its appearance under the microscope. Tumor thickness is the most important characteristic in predicting outcomes.

Melanomas are grouped into the following stages:

  • Stage 0 : The melanoma is only in the top layer of skin .
  • Stage I: Low-risk primary melanoma with no evidence of spread. This stage is generally curable with surgery.
  • Stage II: Features are present that indicate higher risk of recurrence, but there is no evidence of spread.
  • Stage III: The melanoma has spread to nearby lymph nodes or nearby skin.
  • Stage IV: The melanoma has spread to more distant lymph nodes or skin or has spread to internal organs.

Recommended Reading: Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma Fatal

What Are The Signs Of Melanoma

Knowing how to spot melanoma is important because early melanomas are highly treatable. Melanoma can appear as moles, scaly patches, open sores or raised bumps.

Use the American Academy of Dermatology’s “ABCDE” memory device to learn the warning signs that a spot on your skin may be melanoma:

  • Asymmetry: One half does not match the other half.
  • Border: The edges are not smooth.
  • Color: The color is mottled and uneven, with shades of brown, black, gray, red or white.
  • Diameter: The spot is greater than the tip of a pencil eraser .
  • Evolving: The spot is new or changing in size, shape or color.

Some melanomas don’t fit the ABCDE rule, so tell your doctor about any sores that won’t go away, unusual bumps or rashes or changes in your skin or in any existing moles.

Another tool to recognize melanoma is the ugly duckling sign. If one of your moles looks different from the others, its the ugly duckling and should be seen by a dermatologist.

How To Check Your Skin

What Does Skin Cancer Look Like Video
  • Make sure you check your entire body, as skin cancers can sometimes occur on parts of the body that are not exposed to the sun, such as the soles of the feet, between fingers and toes and under nails.
  • Undress completely and make sure you have good light.
  • Use a mirror to check hard to see spots, like your back and scalp, or get a family member, partner or friend to check for you.

Read Also: What Is The Survival Rate For Renal Cell Carcinoma

Brown Spots And Freckles

Freckles are small flat brown marks that most often appear on the face and other exposed parts of the body in the summer months. They are most often seen in fair-skinned people with red hair but can be seen in people with darker skin colour too. Freckles are formed when the skin is exposed to the sun. Freckles are harmless, but if one starts to look funny compared to others then its best to get it checked out.

Larger, flat, brown spots on the face and hands that start to appear in middle-aged people, known as age spots or liver spots, are properly called solar lentigines. These occur in people of all skin types if they have spent too much time exposed to the sun. Solar lentigines are harmless too but because they can sometimes turn into melanoma it is good to get them checked out, especially if they start to change colour or shape.

What Should I Look For When Examining My Skin Moles

Most skin moles are benign . The moles that are of medical concern are those that look different than other existing moles on your body or those that appear on your skin after age 30. If you notice changes in any mole’s color, thickness, size, or shape, you should see a dermatologist. You also should have your moles checked if they bleed, ooze, itch, scale, or become tender or painful.

Examine your skin with a mirror or ask someone to help you. Pay special attention to areas of your skin that are often exposed to the sun, such as your face, hands, legs , arms, chest and back .

The ABCDEs are important signs of moles that could be cancerous. If a mole displays any of the signs listed below, have it checked immediately by a dermatologist:

  • Asymmetry: If one half of your skin mole does not match the other half.
  • Border: If the border or edges of your mole are ragged, blurred or irregular.
  • Color: If the color of your mole is not the same throughout, or it has shades of multiple colors such as tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red.
  • Diameter: If the diameter of your mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
  • Elevation/Evolution: If your mole becomes raised after being flat, or it changes over a short period of time.

The most common location for melanoma in men is the back in women, it is the lower leg. Melanoma is the most common cancer in women ages 25 to 29.

Don’t Miss: What Color Are Skin Cancer Moles

Cancer Mole Looks Like That

Melanomas may not always resemble a mole. They may look like the amelanotic melanoma shown below. If you find something that resembles this on your skin, it is very possible it is not a melanoma, but its best to.Melanoma a serious form of skin cancer is often curable if you find it early. These melanoma pictures can help you determine what to look for. The American Academy of Dermatology advises that you watch skin spots for these features: Asymmetry Border irregularity Color changes Diameter greater than 1/4 inch EvolvingWant to know what a cancerous mole look like? Irregular asymmetric moles, soreness, swelling, redness, or the appearance of new bumps or lumps on your moles.

Early Stage Nodular Melanoma

Symptoms That Show Early Signs Of Melanoma

Nodular melanoma is a type of skin cancer. It begins when the melanocytes in the skin grow out of control and form tumors. Melanocytes are the cells responsible for making melanin, the pigment that.If the nodular melanoma is caught in a very early stage, your dermatologist will recommend surgery. A surgeon will remove the melanoma, plus some of the normal skin surrounding.But the studys results indicate that nodular melanomas, even when thin and early-stage, are a high-risk disease subtype, Stratigos said. The study puts the spotlight on the nodular melanoma subtype, highlighting the distinct clinicopathological and prognostic features independent of Breslow thickness and at an early stage.

Recommended Reading: What Is Skin Cancer Caused By

Basal Cell Carcinoma Pictures

Basal cell carcinoma usually appears in areas of the skin previously exposed to high levels of UV radiation such as the head, neck, ears and the back of the arms and hands. It is common in exposed skin of outdoor workers or people who have used sun tanning beds in the past.

As the basal cell carcinoma pictures below indicate, this type of skin cancer usually shows as a fleshy coloured bump that does not disappear over time and tends to grow slowly in size, eventually breaking down and ulcerating.

Below are pictures of skin cancer on the neck, face and trunk . These images show common areas where basal cell carcinoma develops, but it can develop anywhere.

Basal cell carcinoma. The skin cancer pictures in this article were licensed from DermNet NZ

How Common Is Melanoma

Melanoma accounts for only about 1% of all skin cancers, but causes the great majority of skin cancer-related deaths. Its one of the most common cancers in young people under 30, especially in young women.

Melanoma incidence has dramatically increased over the past 30 years. Its widely accepted that increasing levels of ultraviolet exposure are one of the main reasons for this rapid rise in the number of melanoma cases.

Also Check: What Does Advanced Melanoma Look Like

Melanoma Pictures: What To Look For

Malignant melanoma may differ from these melanoma images. Determining if a mole is cancerous is not easy.

Medically reviewed by Professor Chris Bunker *

The most important sign of potential melanoma is a change in the skins appearance, such as a change in an existing mole, or, more importantly, the appearance of a new spot. Normal moles dont typically turn into melanoma with 70% of melanomas arising in normal skin, not moles.

If you have a particular mole or mark on your skin that you are worried about, please seek your doctors opinion as soon as possible as melanoma of the skin can differ in appearance from the melanoma pictures presented here. Each melanoma is unique in appearance.

READ MORE ABOUT:

Risk Of Further Melanomas

What Does Skin Cancer Look Like Video

Most people treated for early melanoma do not have further trouble with the disease. However, when there is a chance that the melanoma may have spread to other parts of your body, you will need regular check-ups. Your doctor will decide how often you will need check-ups everyone is different. They will become less frequent if you have no further problems. After treatment for melanoma it is important to limit exposure to the sun’s UV radiation. As biological family members usually share similar traits, your family members may also have an increased risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers. They can reduce their risk by spending less time in the sun and using a combination of sun protection measures during sun protection times. It is important to monitor your skin regularly and if you notice any changes in your skin, or enlarged lymph glands near to where you had the cancer, see your specialist as soon as possible.

You May Like: What Does Skin Cancer On The Hand Look Like

Tips For Screening Moles For Cancer

Examine your skin on a regular basis. A common location for melanoma in men is on the back, and in women, the lower leg. But check your entire body for moles or suspicious spots once a month. Start at your head and work your way down. Check the “hidden” areas: between fingers and toes, the groin, soles of the feet, the backs of the knees. Check your scalp and neck for moles. Use a handheld mirror or ask a family member to help you look at these areas. Be especially suspicious of a new mole. Take a photo of moles and date it to help you monitor them for change. Pay special attention to moles if you’re a teen, pregnant, or going through menopause, times when your hormones may be surging.

What Tests Are Used To Stage Melanoma

There are several tests your doctor can use to stage your melanoma. Your doctor may use these tests:

  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy: Patients with melanomas deeper than 0.8 mm, those who have ulceration under the microscope in tumors of any size or other less common concerning features under the microscope, may need a biopsy of sentinel lymph nodes to determine if the melanoma has spread. Patients diagnosed via a sentinel lymph node biopsy have higher survival rates than those diagnosed with melanoma in lymph nodes via physical exam.
  • Computed Tomography scan: A CT scan can show if melanoma is in your internal organs.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan: An MRI scan is used to check for melanoma tumors in the brain or spinal cord.
  • Positron Emission Tomography scan: A PET scan can check for melanoma in lymph nodes and other parts of your body distant from the original melanoma skin spot.
  • Blood work: Blood tests may be used to measure lactate dehydrogenase before treatment. Other tests include blood chemistry levels and blood cell counts.

Don’t Miss: How Tell If You Have Skin Cancer

How Do I Take Care Of My Skin Moles

You dont need to treat your moles any differently than the rest of your skin, except for examining them at least once a month.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Most people get moles. Theyre common, normal. Moles are almost always harmless. Just keep an eye out for any irregularity by checking or having someone you trust check for you once a month. Remember, if a mole displays any of the signs listed below, have it checked immediately:

  • Asymmetry: If one half of your skin mole does not match the other half.
  • Border: If the border or edges of your mole are ragged, blurred or irregular.
  • Color: If the color of your mole is not the same throughout, or it has shades of multiple colors such as tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red.
  • Diameter: If the diameter of your mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
  • Elevation/Evolution: If your mole becomes raised after being flat, or it changes over time.

Dont hesitate to contact your healthcare provider if you have concerns!

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/02/2021.

References

Looking For Signs Of Skin Cancer

Signs of Skin Cancer

Non melanoma skin cancers tend to develop most often on skin that’s exposed to the sun.

To spot skin cancers early it helps to know how your skin normally looks. That way, you’ll notice any changes more easily.

To look at areas you cant see easily, you could try using a hand held mirror and reflect your skin onto another mirror. Or you could get your partner or a friend to look. This is very important if you’re regularly outside in the sun for work or leisure.

You can take a photo of anything that doesn’t look quite right. If you can it’s a good idea to put a ruler or tape measure next to the abnormal area when you take the photo. This gives you a more accurate idea about its size and can help you tell if it’s changing. You can then show these pictures to your doctor.

Recommended Reading: Why Is Melanoma So Deadly

RELATED ARTICLES

Popular Articles