Melanoma on the scalp is one of the more dangerous types of skin cancer, as it forms in an area that’s not easily detectable and can grow at a much faster rate due to an abundant amount of blood vessels and tissues. A regular skin self-exam should always include inspecting the scalp, as this part of the body is constantly exposed to the sun and can burn easily, especially if you are bald or have thin hair.
Examining Your Scalp for Melanoma
A self-exam for melanoma on the scalp is best done in a well-lit room with a handheld mirror. Use a comb or your fingers to part a section of your hair and then use the hand mirror to examine your scalp. As you carefully look at your scalp, notate any red or scaly patches, pigmented moles, pink blemishes or raised moles, as these can all be signs of skin cancer. Continue parting sections of your scalp until you have examined your entire head. Any troublesome spots should be documented for your dermatologist to look at.
This self-examination can be tricky to do alone, so having a friend or family member help is a good idea. If you see a hairstylist regularly, be sure to ask him or her to point out any troublesome moles or blemishes noticed while your hair is being colored or cut. Hairstylists have a bird’s-eye view of the scalp and can see suspicious spots better than most.
Moffitt Cancer Center’s approach to melanoma treatment
If you have been diagnosed with melanoma on your scalp, Moffitt Cancer Center can offer comprehensive treatment services. Within our Cutaneous Oncology Program, we have a full team of specialists who collaborate routinely to ensure our patients receive the individualized treatment they deserve. With regular tumor board meetings, supportive care programs and immunotherapy options, you can count on receiving top-notch care and encouragement from our entire team.