As one of the more serious types of skin cancer, nodular melanoma is one that you should be on the lookout for. It has some distinct differences from the types of melanomas you may be aware of – making it sometimes harder to detect. Knowing what is nodular melanoma is a great start and will certainly put you in a much better position and able to identify the signs at a much earlier stage.
What is nodular melanoma?
There are two main types of melanoma: radial and nodular. The radial type will grow near the skin surface and can be easy to see. They will often be raised, bumpy and irregular in shape with a mix of colours. These types of radial melanoma become more deadly as they rise above the surface of the skin indicating they have more depth or thickness. This upwards growth is usually quite obvious. Nodular melanomas are quite different.
A nodular melanoma will begin its growth stage beneath the skin with downward growth coming first. That means it can be more difficult to see changes in the mole during the early stages. However, there are some clear signs to look out for:
- A new mole, blemish or bump that is not normal for your skin
- An increase in the depth or height of an existing mole especially if it comes with no other warning signs
- The beginning of a bump that looks clear like a bubble or blister on the skin that continues to grow after the first 3 weeks.
- A lump that feels firm to the touch
A nodular melanoma is more likely to grow as a new mole or discolouration and less likely to involve the change in an existing mole – but the latter can happen.
Act quickly with nodular melanoma
Nodular melanomas do spread more quickly than other types of melanoma and therefore should not be ignored. The thing your doctor will do if they suspect it may be a nodular melanoma is to cut it out and send off for analysis. At this stage, it could be cured, or further treatment may be required if it has spread further. There may be more surgery or radiation treatment. The treatment all depends on the stage at which the nodular melanoma was found.
Knowing what is nodular melanoma is hugely important when it comes to recovery and treatment – so don’t ignore any growths. Watch them using our app and if they continue to grow, head to the doctor for a checkup.