About melanoma - Early detection

The first signs of malignant melanoma are a change in colour and/or enlargement of a mole, freckle or birthmark. However, some melanomas may arise from normal looking skin.

A mole, freckle or birthmark can change in colour by becoming darker (dark brown/purple/black), developing new colours or even losing colour and becoming pink or whitish.

A mole, freckle or birthmark can also change by increasing in size by spreading across the skin or becoming raised and lumpy.

These changes are normally noticed over a period of several weeks or months rather than days. If you do find a mole, freckle or spot that is of concern make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Look for:

  • Recent appearance
  • Increase in size
  • Change in colour
  • Change in shape
  • Irregular border
  • Persistent itch
  • Recurrent bleeding