Skip to content

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

Exams and Tests

To check for melanoma and whether or not it has spread, your doctor may:

Other techniques may include total-body photography to look for changes in any mole and to watch for new moles appearing in normal skin. A series of photos of the suspicious lesions may be taken. Then the photos can be used as a baseline to compare with follow-up photos.

Finding skin cancer early

  • Do a skin self-examcamera.gif once a month. Your partner or a close friend can help you check places that are hard to see, such as your scalp and back.
  • Have your doctor check any suspicious skin changes. Be sure you see your doctor at least once a year. You may need checkups more often if you have:
    • Familial atypical mole and melanoma (FAM-M) syndrome, which is an inherited tendency to develop melanoma. Your doctor may need to check you every 4 to 6 months.
    • Increased exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation because of your job, hobbies, or outdoor activities.
    • Abnormal moles called atypical moles. These moles aren't cancerous. But their presence is a warning of an inherited tendency to develop melanoma.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 29, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Malignant melanoma
About 40-50 percent of those who live to be 65 may get it. Here’s how to spot early.
Woman checking out tan lines
There’s a dark side to that strive for beauty. See them here.
 
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
 
12 Ways to Protect Your Skin from Melanoma
ARTICLE
precancerous lesions slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
Do You Know Your Melanoma ABCs
VIDEO
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
ARTICLE
 
screening tests for men
SLIDESHOW
Vitamin D
SLIDESHOW
 
Is That Mole Skin Cancer
VIDEO
Brilliant sun rays
Quiz
 

WebMD Special Sections