Learn more about stage 1 melanoma and its appearance.
It’s a smart question: Can stage 1 melanoma look like a normal (benign) mole?
“A stage 1 melanoma can look like a normal or featureless mole even to a trained naked eye,” says Richard Bezozo, MD, President of MoleSafe, the world’s most advanced melanoma screening program.
“The changes that occur with a melanoma may not be visible for some time.
“Stage 1 melanoma is when melanoma is in the outer layers of the skin and has not spread to lymph nodes.
“Stage 1 varies, but for melanomas that are less than 1 mm in depth the risk of metastasis is almost zero.”
Just because a stage 1 melanoma may look normal to the naked eye, doesn’t mean that it looks the same as it did a month ago.
This is why it is so vital to get to know your moles and other “spots” (and this includes where they’re not), so that you can tell if one’s been changing in appearance, or if a spot or “freckle” is brand new.
Sometimes a very tiny scab can pass for a “new” mole if its location prevents an up-close visual inspection by the patient.
It’s important to realize that a new spot or lesion isn’t necessarily a mole or malignant.
Dr. Bezozo says, “Dermoscopy as used in the MoleSafe program can identify melanomas in stage 1. Dermoscopy can reveal subtle changes to your skin that’s not visible to the naked eye.”
How does this skin cancer detection technology work?
“MoleSafe incorporates the total body photography, digital dermoscopy, serial monitoring, and risk assessment procedures to diagnose melanoma at the earliest possible stage,” explains Dr. Bezozo.
“Using the system, a patient’s images can be evaluated by the dermoscopist (a dermatologist who specializes in reading dermoscopic images) quickly and effectively, often reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies.”
There are more new cases yearly of skin cancer than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. The MoleSafe system produces high-resolution diagnostic images and creates a profile for your skin that’s monitored for any changes in moles.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.