Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that arises when melanocytes, or pigment-producing cells, mutate and then become cancerous. It is known to develop anywhere on the skin, but can be more prone on certain areas such as the chest, back, neck and face.

It is important to have your moles checked regularly for signs of any necessary treatment. A provider will ask questions about your mole such as:

  • When did you first notice it?
  • Does it hurt or itch?
  • Does it ooze fluid, bleed or is it crusty?
  • Has it changed in size, color or shape?

Your provider will closely examine the mole and check for common symptoms such as:

  • Asymmetry
  • Border irregularity
  • Color
  • Diameter
  • Evolving

If your provider is suspicious of melanoma, a biopsy of your mole will be sent to a lab. A pathologist will review the tissue sample to test for melanoma cells.

Surgery is the most common way to treat melanoma by removing any area that has melanoma cancer cells. Neal Agee, MD*, a fellowship-trained surgical oncologist, performs melanoma surgeries at Lutheran Hospital.

*Member of the medical staff of Lutheran Hospital