How is melanoma characterized?

Updated: Jun 28, 2021
  • Author: Jonathan B Heistein, MD; Chief Editor: Gregory Gary Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS  more...
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The characteristics of melanoma (known by the acronym ABCDE) include the following:

  • A: Asymmetry

  • B: Irregular border

  • C: Color variations: Especially red, white, and blue tones in a brown or black lesion

  • D: Diameter greater than 6 mm

  • E: Elevated surface

In addition, melanomas may itch, bleed, ulcerate, or develop satellites. Patients who present with metastatic disease or with primary sites other than the skin have signs and symptoms related to the affected organ system(s).

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