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Melanoma/Skin Cancer Health Center

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When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor if you have an irritated or irregular skin growth. This includes any:

  • Firm, pearly bump with tiny blood vessels that look spidery (telangiectasias).
  • Red, tender, flat spot that bleeds easily.
  • Small, fleshy bump with a smooth, pearly appearance, often with a depressed center.
  • Smooth, shiny bump that may look like a mole or cyst.
  • Patch of skin, especially on the face, that looks like a scar and is firm to the touch.
  • Bump that itches, bleeds, crusts over, and then repeats the cycle and has not healed in 3 weeks.
  • Change in a mole or a skin growth, including a change in size, shape, or color.
  • Area of normal skin that quickly changes shape or appearance.

Be sure to show your doctor any skin growths that concern you so that they can be evaluated and treated if needed.

Recommended Related to Melanoma/Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Treatment

Most skin cancers are detected and cured before they spread. Melanoma that has spread to other organs presents the greatest treatment challenge. Standard treatments for localized basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are safe and effective. Small tumors can be surgically excised, removed with a scraping tool (curette) and then cauterized, frozen with liquid nitrogen, or killed with low-dose radiation. Applying an ointment containing a chemotherapeutic agent called 5-fluorouracil -- or an immune...

Read the Skin Cancer Treatment article > >

Who to see

Health professionals who can examine and diagnose a suspicious skin growth include:

Doctors who can remove a large skin growth or one in a noticeable area while minimizing scars that may result from surgery include:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 30, 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.
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