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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. One of the things to watch for is color.
You should be concerned if the pigmentation in a mole or other skin growth is not uniform. Shades of tan, brown, and black may be present. Dashes of red, white, and blue may add to the mottled appearance. Changes in color distribution, especially the spread of color from the edge of a mole into the surrounding skin, also are an early sign of melanoma. Call your doctor if you notice these types of colors on a mole or other skin growth.
Last Revised: October 12, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology
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