A dermatologist says, “Nodular melanoma can spread very quickly; within a matter of days or weeks.”

“Melanoma is a very interesting cancer and behaves very differently depending on the age of the person and its location,” says Dr. David Rahimi, MD, F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon.

“A nodular melanoma can stay in the same spot for months and even rarely years; or spread into lymphatics and blood vessels very quickly.

“The consensus it that nodular melanoma does spread very quickly.

“In contrast, superficial spreading melanoma or melanoma in situ can stay in the same spot for years without spreading.”

What is nodular melanoma?

It’s a very rare form of skin cancer that grows more vertically than laterally. As the name implies, the growth looks like a nodule.


As mentioned, it’s capable of rapid growth, meaning quickly growing in size—deeply penetrating downward into the skin’s deeper layers.

It can develop in regular skin or within a melanoma of the superficial spreading type.

Nodular melanoma can occur in people with very dark skin, though this is exceedingly rare.

It’s not as associated with exposure to the sun as much as is the more common forms of this skin cancer, even though the most common locations are the normally exposed areas of the neck and head.

If you have a hard lump or nodular-shaped bump that’s new, and especially if it’s dark, black, itching, stinging or crusting, and if it seems to be growing or rapidly progressing, then get it checked immediately.

Dr. Rahimi is the founder of Forever Young, Inc.
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.