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March 2, 2018 / molehunter

A solitary dark mole on the back

Melanoma often occurs on the back, due to sun exposure. Sometimes it may grow for longer before being noticed than, say, on the arm or neck. People should check their backs, and each others’ backs. Or be like me, get a photo of your back as a reference-a mole that is new or changing is easier to detect if you have a photo.

Here’s a mole on someone’s back. There was doubt about how long it had been there for, but it was felt to be new and changing.

case 1 (A)

We worry about a single mole that stands out, the term ‘ugly duckling’ is used, although technically that refers to one out of several moles that stands out. On this view, the mole deserves further evaluation, although it could still be OK. Especially if it has been there for many years without changing (like I said, photography helps establish this.)

Dermoscopy.

case 1 (B)

Wrong. Too many colours, too many structures, lack of symmetry. I see irregular network, dots and globules, irregular black blotches, and a blue-white featureless area. More than enough to justify excision whichever algorithm the dermoscopist is using.

This was a thin, hopefully curable, melanoma.

Beware the ugly duckling, watch your back.

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