Melanoma Treatment & Removal in Novato

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a cancerous mole.   Melanoma shows up as a dark or pigmented spot anywhere on a person’s body, even on sun-protected areas. It is the most serious type of skin cancer and can be life-threatening. When diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages, melanoma can be cured.  

In its more advanced form, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body, including lymph nodes, lung, liver, brain, and elsewhere.  This process of spreading is called metastasis, and once melanoma has metastasized, it has a poor prognosis.  There are some forms of treatment for metastatic melanoma, but the cure rate is not high.

How do you get Melanoma?

The main risk factors for developing melanoma include over-exposure to the sun (particularly during childhood), red hair, freckles, blue eyes, fair skin that burns easily, numerous moles, and a family history of melanoma.

Since melanoma is a dark spot that can look like a mole, we discuss early warning signs that help differentiate melanoma from a benign mole.

Signs of Melanoma

Warning signs of melanoma are the “ABCDE’s,” which stand for:

  • Asymmetry
  • Border irregularities
  • Color variation within a mole
  • Diameter greater the 6 millimeters
  • Evolving or changing moles

A full skin check by a dermatologist can help identify suspicious spots.  If a mole looks like it could be a melanoma, it can be surgically removed to make a diagnosis. Contact us to have a dermatologist examine the concerned area and determine if treatment is needed.