Melanoma warning signs | Malena M Amato MD


Melanoma Warning Signs

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, with around five million cases diagnosed each year. There are different types of skin cancer; however, in this blog we will be focusing on the more serious types of skin cancer known as melanoma. We’ll discuss melanoma in detail, including some of its classic warning signs, as well as how Dr. Malena M Amato assists oncologists in the removal of melanoma and she helps her repair her patient’s melanoma scars.

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that begins in the melanocytes, which are the cells that produce melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its color. When melanocytes start growing out of control, then it is known as melanoma.


Melanoma tumors can occur on any part of the body, but it is mostly found on areas such as the chest, back, head, neck, arms, and legs. Melanoma can also occur in the eyes, mouth, and genital area. These tumors are generally brown or black in color but can also be pink, tan, or white, depending on the absence or presence of melanin.

Warning Signs of Melanoma

The earlier melanoma is detected, the better. Be sure to perform regular self-checks and see a dermatologist for a professional skin exam at least once a year. Warning signs of melanoma are also known as the ABCDEs of melanoma and include:



The mole will have an irregular shape, meaning that one hand of the mole does not look like the other half.

B- Border

The border of the mole will appear ragged or blurred.

C- color

The mile will be several different colors. These colors can include tan, brown, black, white, red, and sometimes blue.

D- diameter

The mole will be larger than 1/4 of an inch in diameter. However, it is possible to have melanoma diagnosed that is smaller, so be sure to also consider other symptoms.

E- evolving

The mole will be changing in size, shape, and color. One mole may also have a different appearance than surrounding moles. Most moles are present at birth, so any new moles that form later in life should also be evaluated.

It is important to mention that some melanomas may not have any of the traditional symptoms. In these cases, other warning signs can include:

  • A sore that won’t heal
  • Spread of pigmentation from the border of the mole to surrounding skin
  • Redness or swelling that goes beyond the mole
  • Itching, pain, or bleeding
  • Changing in sensation in the area of the mole, including numbness or tingling
  • Change in surface texture. For example, it may feel scaly, oozy, or bleeding

Treatment For Melanoma

The treatment for melanoma will depend on the stage of the cancer. If caught early enough, melanoma can often be treated with surgery. More advanced stages of melanoma may require additional treatments after surgery such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy. MOH’s surgery is a type of skin that is often used to treat melanoma. Moh’s surgery involves removing the cancerous tissue layer by layer. Once all of the cancerous tissue is removed, the surgeon will begin the process of reconstructing the area. Dr. Amato often works with a MOHS cancer surgeon who will remove the eyelid cancer (melanoma) while Dr. Amato performs the reconstruction of the area.

Learn More About How Dr. Malena M Amato Can Help You Fight Melanoma

Melanoma is a serious skin disease that should not be taken lightly. If you notice anything wrong, a spot that has changed or recently appeared, be sure to see a dermatologist or your doctor right away. Early detection is key to treating melanoma. For more information about reconstructive surgery so you can get back to life with confidence, contact Dr. Malena M. Amato in Austin by calling (512) 501-1010 or contact us online.