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    Skin Cancer, Melanoma - When To Call a Doctor

    The most important warning sign for melanoma is a change in size, shape, or color of a mole or other skin growth (such as a birthmark). Call your doctor if you have:

    • Any change in a mole, including size, shape, color, soreness, or pain.
    • A bleeding mole.
    • A discolored area under a fingernail or toenail not caused by an injury.
    • A general darkening of the skin unrelated to sun exposure.

    Call your doctor immediately if you have been diagnosed with melanoma and:

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    What Is Metastatic Melanoma?

    When you get the news that you have metastatic melanoma, it can be tough to take that in. Once you understand the condition, though, you may feel more ready to take it on. "Metastatic" means that the melanoma, a form of skin cancer, has spread to one or more parts of your body. Although doctors can’t cure it, they can treat it.  It starts in the cells that make melanin, the pigment that gives color to your skin. It can spread anywhere in the body, but it first tends to go to the lymph nodes (a...

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    Who to see

    The following health professionals can help diagnose melanoma:

    If further treatment is needed, melanoma can be treated by a dermatologist, surgeon, plastic or reconstructive surgeon, or medical oncologist.

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

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    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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