The type of cancer that originates from the pigment-containing cells called melanocytes is called melanoma. It is the most serious type of skin cancer as it often spreads to the deeper layers of the skin and eventually to other organs. The common causes of melanoma are more sun exposure, family history, and pale skin.

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How small should a melanoma be in diameter to metastasize?

Query: Hi doctor, I am wondering about how small melanomas can be in diameter to reach metastasis. I have read an article that an invasive micromelanoma can be as small as 0.11 mm in thickness, but I have also read articles saying us to look for moles larger than 6 mm in diameter. However, I have read ano...  Read Full »

Dr. Barve Vaibhav Saidas

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I went through your query and understood the concern. There is no specific size of melanoma to predict metastasis. Any size of melanoma can metastasize depending on the site, and the lymphatic drainage. I hope this has helped you.  Read Full »

A spot appeared on my hand recently. Does it look like a melanoma?

Query: Hello doctor,I have a history of melanoma. This spot appeared on my hand this month. I am worried it could be acral lentiginous melanoma. Does it look like it needs to be biopsied? I had a wide excision of melanoma on the other hand on the middle left knuckle.  Read Full »

Dr. Sampada Avinash Thakare

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I have gone through the image (attachment removed to protect patient identity). It is a very small papular lesion at present. It does not need a biopsy at present. But you might need biopsy if there is: 1. Change in color and irregular surface. 2. Increase in the...  Read Full »

I had a mole removed which had a darker dot. Was it a melanoma?

Query: Hi doctor, I had a mole removed yesterday from my leg, and I am very worried despite my dermatologist saying she did not think it was melanoma. She said she knew I would stare at it constantly and worry and that taking an atypical mole off here and there was alright and saved a lot of anxiety. She k...  Read Full »

Dr. Ashwini. V. Swamy

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I saw the picture (attachment removed to protect patient identity). Clinically, it does not look like melanoma, but it is good that your dermatologist did a biopsy. So, the result will show us if it is a melanoma or not. It may most likely be a dysplastic nevus. I am...  Read Full »

Is a mole surrounded by red, itchy, tender skin point to a melanoma?

Query: Hello doctor, My friend's sister has a mole surrounded by red and itchy skin. Also, the skin around the mole is tender. Is it melanoma? Should I ask her to visit a doctor? Does she need to take any medicines? Kindly help.  Read Full »

Dr. Arshad Hussain Shah

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I understand your concern and would be happy to help. I suggest your friend's sister to consult a dermatologist who will examine the area and lymph nodes, and in case something suspicious is detected, he may refer her to an oncologist. The oncologist will do further ...  Read Full »

Do tanning beds increase the risk of melanoma?

Query: Hi doctor, From when I was 17 years old I have used tanning beds on and off up until I was 22. I was not aware of the risks. Through the internet I learnt about the risks. I got to know that it is inevitable and that will develop melanoma at some point. Do most people who use tanning beds end up wit...  Read Full »

Dr. Asmeet Kaur Sawhney

Answer: Hi, Welcome to It is not necessary that everyone who uses a tanning bed will develop melanoma. It varies from person to person depending on the risk factors. Not everyone who uses a tanning bed develops melanoma. Moreover, you do not seem to have any risk factors and all your mol...  Read Full »

I got a shave biopsy for melanoma in situ. Did the cancer cells get into my bloodstream?

Query: Hello doctor, I have a question about the biopsy that I had done. It was a shave biopsy, and it came back as melanoma in situ. I got a wide excision done, and it looks like there is still some of this mole left that was missed by the shave. If there was still melanoma cells in this left over part of...  Read Full »

Dr. Suvash Sahu

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I have read your query and concern. Melanoma is a malignancy of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes), located predominantly in the skin. The careful examination of lymph nodes can be determined by the staging of melanoma and the metastasis, that is, spread to oth...  Read Full »

I have moles all over my body. Do I have melanoma?

Query: Hi doctor, I have attached a photo of the mole that I have. Is that a melanoma? Should I be concerned? Kindly help.  Read Full »

Dr. Dhepe Snehal Laul

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I had gone through the photograph (photographs were removed to protect the patient's identity). It is dysplastic nevi. I suggest, do a self-observation for change in shape, irregular margins or borders, and change in size or color. Avoid direct sunlight. Apply Ph...  Read Full »

Can my mole that looks different be a melanoma?

Query: Hi doctor, Recently I had a mole that just felt funny. I went to my dermatologist and asked her to take a look. Given my history, she was on the fence about it but decided to remove it. I am blue-eyed, very fair, and my mother and maternal grandfather had melanoma. She did a shave biopsy, and the ...  Read Full »

Dr. Vinay Kumar

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I have evaluated your concerns, and you need to be applauded for your alertness. You have taken steps to manage the "funny" mole have been in the desired direction. You are correct that moles can be tricky to diagnose in the early stages. It so happens that they tend to...  Read Full »

Why has one of my moles raised?

Query: Hi doctor,I have a couple of moles that have changed recently. Should I get them checked by my GP? The larger round mole is about 5 mm in diameter on my back. Now, it is a little over 1 cm. Also, it has changed over a few months. The other mole that I noticed recently is raised, while the rest is fl...  Read Full »

Dr. Gaurang Gupta

Answer: Hi, Welcome to Yes, raised mole is suspicious. But, frankly speaking, by seeing just photos or even seeing live, it is challenging to say whether it has cancerous probability or not. The best thing is to get it checked and get a definite result. An excision biopsy is the best wa...  Read Full »

Are the blue and black lines on the toenail a sign of melanoma?

Query: Hi doctor,I did treadmill exercises and played tennis for two hours three weeks ago. And after that, I noticed blue and black lines on the fourth toe of my left foot. Can you tell me what this is? Is it melanoma? I am worried and anxious.Kindly help.  Read Full »

Dr. Filza Hafeez

Answer: Hi, Welcome to need to see a clear picture of your lesion to make a diagnosis. Thanks.  Read Full »

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