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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:

    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

    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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