Are Melanoma Symptoms Different at Each Stage?

Unusual moles, sores, rashes and bumps on the skin are all potential symptoms of melanoma. Moles that itch, bleed, swell, darken or change in shape or texture should always be evaluated by a physician, oncologist or dermatologist. Even though abnormal skin changes are not always cancerous, staying alert is important. Melanomas that are detected early can often be removed in their entirety. For these cancers, survival outcomes are often positive and quality of life can be high. For melanomas that have spread, however, treatment tends to be more complicated, with potentially fewer options and more complications to consider.

What are the symptoms of metastatic melanoma?

Early-stage melanoma symptoms are usually purely appearance-based. When melanoma spreads, however, it can cause several complications. Late-stage, metastatic melanoma symptoms include:

  • Sore, lumpy and hard lymph nodes
  • Ulcerations or open sores on the skin
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain and a chronic cough (if the cancer has spread to the lungs)
  • Headaches and difficulty concentrating (if the cancer has spread to the brain)

Diagnostic tests and treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center

If you notice any abnormalities in the texture or appearance of your skin – either new growths or changes to existing features – you’re encouraged to consult with an oncologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. At Moffitt Cancer Center, we use advanced diagnostic technologies that can detect even the subtlest cancerous changes, helping to increase early detection rates and give our patients the widest range of treatment options.

When you’re dealing with the symptoms of melanoma, every day counts. You do not need a physician’s referral to schedule an appointment at Moffitt. To request a consultation, call 1-888-663-3888 or submit a new patient registration form online.