Which one is the melanoma?  

A or B?

The answer is that both are a melanoma.  The one on the left is what is called an ‘amelanotic’ melanoma, which means it doesn’t have any pigment in it.  That is one reason it is so dangerous and, in general, melanoma is so dangerous.

We see that form of melanoma rarely, but I diagnose one of them every year now, it seems.  Generally, my patients say that they came up quickly and they can easily be confused with a mole or other form of skin cancer.

The one on the right is more of the ‘typical’ form of melanoma.  The thing most people would be surprised about is that the person who had it wasn’t concerned about it.  She came in for something else and when we saw it, we knew it had to come off.  She isn’t alone as most people feel that if a mole has been present since birth, it is fine.  What they don’t know is that moles that are from birth have a very special risk to them.

Melanoma risk is based on how ‘deep’ they are and both of these are in a higher risk category.  As a dermatologist, I see melanomas about once a month, but these two came within a week of each other.  That is another reason that I am concerned about indoor tanning (and outdoor!), as these are one of the main reasons for the increase in skin cancers and melanomas.

The take home message from this is to pass this around to your friends and let them know that a mole that is changing can be dangerous and even deadly.  Look over yourself and your loved ones and if you have any concerns, go to your dermatologist for evaluation.  It may save your life or that of a  loved one.

Posted Monday, August 6th, 2012 at 12:39 pm
Filed Under Category: Skin Cancer, Uncategorized
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


Leave a Reply