How does melanoma make you feel?” Our Little Rock-based team at Dermatology Group of Arkansas fields all kinds of questions from patients seeking our help, but this may be one of the most important.

Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. When it comes to this form of the disease, patients can benefit from knowing what to look out for so that they can treat it early and have a higher chance of a successful cure.

Of course, everyone should always be on the lookout for moles and spots—especially those that appear unusual. The ABCDE rule is a great thing to remember when examining your skin for signs of cancer. This refers to A for Asymmetry, B for Border, C for Color, D for Diameter, and E for evolving. Any mole that is asymmetrical, has a blurred or scalloped border that isn’t well defined, has an unusual colour, is larger than the size of a pencil eraser, or is constantly changing and showing new symptoms (such as bleeding and itching) may be a cause for concern.

The Ugly Duckling rule, which refers to examining the skin for any mole that looks especially different from the others, is another helpful tool.

All of this is important to remember because the first sign of melanoma is often the presence of a new mole or changes to an existing mole. However, moles aren’t the only symptoms associated with this cancer. It’s important to know about other, less common signs as well:

Other Changes to the Skin

More symptoms associated with melanoma include scaly, discolored patches that look like warts or scabs, irritation, open sores, skin craters, discoloration, and redness.

Non-Skin-Related Symptoms

If you have advanced melanoma, the cancerous cells may spread to other areas of the body and cause non-skin-related symptoms, such as unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, and fatigue.

The types of symptoms you may experience can vary depending on the location of the melanoma. For example, if the cancer is close to the lungs, you may experience shortness of breath.

If you have any of these warning signs and want professional guidance, contact the Little Rock-based Dermatology Group of Arkansas. Call us at 501-227-8422 or 1-800-225-8422 or submit a contact form online and schedule a consultation if you would like to discuss diagnosis and treatments for skin cancer.