Your doctor can identify moles by visually inspecting your skin.
Because melanoma typically develops on the skin's surface, it can often be detected at an early stage using these methods:
Dec. 06, 2011
- Skin examination. You may choose to make a skin examination a regular part of your preventive medical care. Talk to your doctor about a schedule that's appropriate for you. Your doctor will examine your skin from head to toe, including your scalp, your palms, the soles of your feet and the skin between your buttocks.
- Biopsy. If your doctor suspects that a mole may be cancerous, he or she may take a sample of the tissue (biopsy) and submit the biopsy for microscopic examination.
- Moles. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/common_moles.html. Accessed Sept. 13, 2011.
- Moles. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/dermatologic_disorders/benign_skin_tumors/moles.htmlnatlcan. Accessed Sept. 13, 2011.
- What you need to know about moles and dysplastic nevi. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/moles-and-dysplastic-nevi/allpages/print. Accessed Sept. 13,2011.
- Nevi and malignant melanoma. In: Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010.http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.
- Moles in children: What parents should know. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet/moles_children.html. Accessed Sept. 13, 2011.
- Clarke LE. Dysplastic nevi. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine. 2011;31:255.
- Step-by-step self-examination. Skin Cancer Foundation. http://www.skincancer.org/step-by-step-self-examination/Print.html. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.
- Prevention guidelines. Skin Cancer Foundation. http://www.skincancer.org/prevention-guidelines/Print.html. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.