Melanoma can arise anywhere on the skin surface, but occurs within a preexisting mole in 1/3rd of cases and in normal appearing skin in 2/3rds of cases. The most frequent site for melanoma in men is the trunk, particularly upper back and shoulders. The most frequent sites for melanoma in women are the legs followed by the trunk. Melanoma can also rarely occur in mucosal, genital, nail bed, and ocular sites.
Risk factors for the development of melanoma include: blue or green eyes, blond or red hair, fair complexion with a tendency to freckle, sunburn and to tan poorly, the presence of multiple atypical moles, a personal or family history of melanoma, and a history of significant UV exposure or sunburns.
The earliest clinical features of melanoma include a change in the size, shape, or colour and occasionally persistent itching in a lesion. Later features include ulceration, bleeding, and/or tenderness. The earlier a melanoma is diagnosed, the better the chance of it being able to treated successfully. To help make an early diagnosis, having your moles checked in person by a dermatologist is the most accurate method. We perform full skin checks with mole mapping as required. For your peace of mind make an appointment for you and your family to have your moles checked today.
Dr Ludgate has worked in one of the largest melanoma centers in the USA and has performed leading research on melanoma.