What are the symptoms of melanoma?


The most common symptoms of melanoma are: 

  • a new spot on the skin, or a spot that is changing in size, shape or colour 
  • moles that have features of the ‘ABCDE rule’: 
    • Asymmetry: the 2 sides of the mole do not match 
    • Border irregularity: the mole has irregular edges 
    • Colour: the mole is not the same colour throughout 
    • Diameter: the mole is wider than about 6 mm (although some melanomas are smaller than this) 
    • Evolving: the mole has changed in size, shape, colour or texture during the past few weeks or months 
  • a sore that does not heal 
  • itching, scaling, bleeding, oozing, swelling or pain, in or around a mole 
  • spread of pigment from a spot into the surrounding skin. 

Many conditions can cause these symptoms, not just melanoma. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. 

  1. American Cancer Society (US) (2019). Melanoma skin cancer https://www.cancer.org/cancer/melanoma-skin-cancer.html
  2. National Comprehensive Cancer Network (US) . NCCN guidelines for patients: melanoma. https://www.nccn.org/patientresources/patient-resources/guidelines-for-patients/guidelines-for-patients-details?patientGuidelineId=21
  3. National Cancer Institute (US). Melanoma treatment (PDQ®) https://www.cancer.gov/types/skin/patient/melanoma-treatment-pdq, patient version.