Signs and symptoms of melanoma
Types of melanoma skin cancer and their signs
Superficial spreading melanoma
Superficial spreading melanomas typically have irregular borders and uneven pigmentation. This is the most common type of melanoma skin cancer.
Nodular melanomas typically present as a raised, nodular lesion with irregular patches of colour and an irregular border. They are most common on the head, back and chest and may bleed or ooze. Some nodular melanomas have no pigmentation.
Lentigo Maligna Melanoma
Lentigo maligna melanomas begin flat and look like a large, dark freckle. They grow outwards and may change shape. They may then grow downwards into the deeper layers of skin and form a lump.
Acral Lentiginous Melanoma
Acral lentiginous melanoma in the nail may appear as a streak in a nail – often brownish or black. This can form in the fingernails or toenails and most often develops in the thumb or big toe. As the cancer in the nail grows, the nail may become damaged. Most streaks in the nail are not cancerous, but it’s important to contact your GP as soon as possible to get it checked.
On the palms or soles of the feet, acral lentiginous melanoma may be noticed by changes to a spot or mole. It could be an irregularly-shaped growth, that changes or is a different colour or present as a raised patch of thicker skin.
Acral lentiginous melanoma is a rarer form of melanoma where it is important to monitor the nails and palms and soles of the feet. Read more about it here.
Amelanotic melanoma is a less common form of melanoma that has little or no colour.
These melanomas can be pink or red, and as they are not the typical brown or black colour, they can be difficult to diagnose.