Noticing symptoms


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Cancers and other diseases can cause symptoms. These are changes in your body that you notice. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. Most melanomas cause changes to the skin that are noticeable.  

Not all skin changes are due to melanoma or other types of skin cancers. However, it is always best to have them checked out. 

What you need to know

Symptoms of melanoma

It is important to be aware of any changes to your skin. Being aware of how your skin looks can help you notice any changes early.

Everyone has different skin. Some people have lots of freckles or moles while others have fairly unblemished skin. Some have darker skin and tan easily while others are fair and burn quickly. Whatever type of skin you have it is important to be aware of any changes.

Changes to the skin include:

  • a new spot or mole appears
  • an existing mole
    • gets bigger
    • becomes darker or blotchy
    • changes shape and has irregular edges
    • becomes raised and scaly
    • itches or bleeds
    • forms a lump or nodule.

Melanomas can look very different from each other, but the one thing they have in common is that they change in appearance. Changes may seem minor but they should not be ignored.

If you notice any changes to your skin see your GP. Cancers that are diagnosed early can be easier to treat.

Next steps

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have symptoms that you are worried about, even if they seem minor, you should go to see a GP. Don't be embarrassed to bring up your concerns. 

Remember, cancers that are found earlier can be easier to treat.

Where to get help

There are people you can talk to for more information or support.

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