Most of us know the basics when it comes to spotting the signs of melanoma. We know our ABCDEs, we inspect our moles and we try our best to track changes in our skin over time. But sometimes melanoma presents itself in more insidious ways that we may not have considered. So what are the other symptoms of melanoma?
Other symptoms of melanoma to look out for
Below are some of the more unusual symptoms and manifestations of melanoma to keep in mind when caring for your health.
Unexplained sores in the mouth or nose
Sores that won’t heal in your mouth or nasal passages could be a rare form of melanoma called mucosal melanoma. This form of melanoma develops from melanocyte cells in areas of your body that produce mucous such as the lining of your sinuses, nasal passages, oral cavity, vagina and anus. If you notice any sores in these areas that won’t heal and cannot be explained by other causes, see your doctor and have them checked out.
Dark streaks under the nail
Sometimes melanoma can form under the nail. It most commonly appears as a narrow, dark streak. It usually develops on the thumb or big toe but it can occur on any nail. This is usually a sign of acral lentiginous melanoma and while it can occur in individuals of all races, it usually occurs in people with darker skin. Acral lentiginous melanoma can also develop as dark spots or patches on the palms or soles of the feet. Once nodules begin to form, it’s likely that the cancer has spread more deeply.
A growing dark spot on the iris or changes in vision
Ocular melanoma is another rare form of melanoma that develops in melanocyte cells.While we may not think of it, our eye also produces melanin and therefore can be at risk for developing melanoma. While this type of melanoma often doesn’t exhibit any symptoms, it can present itself as a dark spot on the iris, a change in the shape of the pupil, poor or blurry vision or as the appearance of flashing light or specks floating in your vision.
A bleeding bump or sore
Melanoma doesn’t always present itself as a mole. If you have a bleeding bump or sore that won’t heal over time, this could also be a symptom of aggressive cancer.
Moles on the scalp
A place we often forget to check for possible melanomas is on the top of our head. Moles can develop on our scalp as this area is exposed to the sun constantly. If you feel any tender bumps or moles along your scalp line, be to have them checked by a doctor. It’s also wise to have someone examine your scalp for suspicious moles periodically.
The next time you perform a skin check, keep these uncommon symptoms in the back of your mind. Awareness is the first step to early detection.
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