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About half of all melanomas start with a change in previously normal-looking skin.
This usually looks like a dark area or an abnormal new mole. Other melanomas develop from a mole or freckle that you already have.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a melanoma and a normal mole. The following checklist will give you an idea of what to look out for:
See your doctor straight away if you have:
A good time to check your skin is after a bath or shower. Make sure you have plenty of light. Use a full length mirror and a small hand-held mirror for areas that are hard to reach. This will get easier with time, as you become more familiar with your skin and what your moles normally look like. You can ask your partner, a relative or friend to look at your back, neck and parts of your skin that are hard to see.
Looking out for these signs is very important as melanoma can usually be cured if it’s found at an early stage.
There are more symptoms of advanced melanoma|.
Content last reviewed: 1 February 2012
Next planned review: 2015
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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