A melanoma (black skin cancer) can cause symptoms that initially cannot distinguished from harmless changes in the skin. But Some benign lesions may similar to early skin cancer signs. Skin lesion is most important sign of skin cancer. In more advanced stages of skin cancer, it is usually easier to see lesions and other symptoms.
Melanomas are usually dark pigmented tumors that can develop spontaneously from existing moles. Rare melanomas have no pigmentation. They are called amelanotic melanomas and found mainly in the hands or feet. Pain or discomfort are not typical signs. In advanced stages, it can lead to bleeding. Occasionally it may also lead to itching.
However, it is important to quickly determine whether changes to the skin have skin cancer symptoms or not because melanoma shows a good prognosis if treated at an early stage. If it is left untreated it has a strong tendency to scatter.
Any sudden changes in the shape or color of a lesions and also itching , spontaneous bleeding or irritation such as redness in the peripheral region may be indications of an incipient degeneration. ABCD rule are used to assess pigmented skin lesion (malignancy).
ABCDE rule provide us guideline which delineate the signs of skin cancer. According to the ABCDE rule following symptoms may indicate skin cancer:
- A for asymmetry: Melanomas grow preferentially in one direction. A skin patch with an asymmetrical shape is therefore a possible symptom of a malignant melanoma.
- B as limiting: A melanoma goes smoothly over into the healthy light skin. Its boundary is blurred, jagged and irregular.
- C as coloring: The skin cancer color ranges from reddish brown and black to gray and rarely whitish.
- D as Diameter: Due to horizontal growth the diameter of melanoma is increase so it become visible. Moles, whose diameter is larger than five millimeters are suspicious symptoms of black skin cancer, it is best checked by the dermatologist.
- E as sublimity: A melanoma may also be raised, thus slightly exceed the remaining skin surface. Therefore, hemispherical upward growing pigmented moles are suspicious symptoms.
Symptoms of Superficial spreading malignant melanoma (SSM)
Most frequently superficial spreading malignant melanoma occurs on the back, chest or limbs. Superficial spreading malignant melanoma generally grow on upper layer of the skin and appear irregular in shape. The color of these tumors can vary from dark brown to blue black.
Symptoms of Gnarled malignant melanoma (nodular melanoma (NM))
The tumor usually occurs on the back, chest or limbs. The average age of those affected is 55 years. On the skin, a dark brown to blue black pigmented nodes is usually seen. The surface of the node can be smooth and covered by the epidermis, but also wet or even break and sometimes bleed. Following bleeding of the node is occupied by red to blackish crusts. Compared to superficial spreading melanoma nodular malignant melanoma in general is growing very rapidly into deeper skin layers.
Symptoms of Lentigo maligna melanoma (LMM)
Most patients with a lentigo maligna melanoma are older than 60 years. The lentigo maligna melanoma or lentigo maligna melanoma precursor preferably occurs on skin that are particularly exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The lentigo maligna is usually appear as fuzzy and irregular shaped, gray-brown to black spots lying at skin level.
Symptoms of acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM)
The acral lentiginous malignant melanoma (Akren = tips, lentigo = lenticular Fleck) is a particular form of melanoma that occurs on the hands, feet or on the mucous membranes.
Most affected area are fingers, toes (particularly in the area of the fingers respectively toenail) and the palms and soles, as well as mucous oral, genital, anal or intestinal mucosa. It usually looks like ill-defined spot whose color can vary from light brown to blue black. In the course of further tumor growth,it may may bleed under certain circumstances. A acral lentiginous malignant melanoma in the area of the nail bed of a finger or toe nail can make a noticeable brown to black or bluish discoloration under the nail plate.