Quick Answer: How Long Can A Cancerous Mole Go Undetected?

Does melanoma show up in blood work?

Blood tests aren’t used to diagnose melanoma, but some tests may be done before or during treatment, especially for more advanced melanomas.

Doctors often test blood for levels of a substance called lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) before treatment..

Where does Melanoma usually start?

Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer. While it can develop anywhere on the skin, it most commonly starts on the trunk (chest and back) in men and on the legs in women. Other common locations for melanoma include the face and neck, and on the scalp in men.

Where does Melanoma usually spread to first?

Normally, the first place a melanoma tumor metastasizes to is the lymph nodes, by literally draining melanoma cells into the lymphatic fluid, which carries the melanoma cells through the lymphatic channels to the nearest lymph node basin.

What happens if skin cancer goes undetected?

When detected early, melanoma can be entirely removed. In most cases, this will be the only treatment required. But if left undetected, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body, including vital organs. There are two broad types of skin cancers; melanoma and non-melanoma.

How long can Melanoma go untreated?

It can become life-threatening in as little as six weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body.

Can a doctor tell if a mole is cancerous just by looking at it?

A visual check of your skin only finds moles that may be cancer. It can’t tell you for sure that you have it. The only way to diagnose the condition is with a test called a biopsy.

Can you have melanoma for 3 years and not know?

How long can you have melanoma and not know it? It depends on the type of melanoma. For example, nodular melanoma grows rapidly over a matter of weeks, while a radial melanoma can slowly spread over the span of a decade. Like a cavity, a melanoma may grow for years before producing any significant symptoms.

What percent of biopsied moles are cancerous?

Lab testing showed that more than 90 percent of biopsied moles were completely removed by using the single procedure, with 11 (7 percent) diagnosed as melanoma, one of the most aggressive forms of skin cancer.

Can you have stage 4 melanoma and not know it?

Sometimes the symptoms for stage 4 melanoma may not appear for many years after the original tumor was removed. Talk to your doctor if you’re feeling new pains and aches or symptoms. They’ll be able to help diagnose the cause and recommend treatment options.

When should a mole be biopsied?

Although skin cancers can form in moles and spots you have had most of your life, biopsies should also be done for new, changing, or painful spots that do not resolve quickly. Besides cancers, if you have a rash that is not responsive to treatment, a skin biopsy is a good idea to help further evaluate the diagnosis.

What happens if they find a cancerous mole?

Surgery may be the only treatment needed when melanoma is found early. A dermatologist can often perform this type of surgery during an office visit while you remain awake. During this surgery, the dermatologist removes any remaining tumor (after the skin biopsy) and some normal-looking skin.

What does a cancerous mole look like on the skin?

Melanomas are usually brown or black, but some can appear pink, tan, or even white. Some melanomas have areas with different colors, and they might not be round like normal moles. They might grow quickly or even spread into the surrounding skin.

Can you have a cancerous mole for years?

They can change or even disappear over the years, and very rarely can become skin cancers. Some research suggests that having more than 50 common moles may increase one’s risk of melanoma.

Can you have melanoma for years without knowing?

“You could have melanoma for a long time before you realize it, because some types are not so obvious. Some aggressive forms, like nodular melanoma, grow fast, are visible and can hurt or bleed.” While certain groups may be at a higher risk for melanoma, anyone can get the disease.

What does early stage melanoma look like?

Border that is irregular: The edges are often ragged, notched, or blurred in outline. The pigment may spread into the surrounding skin. Color that is uneven: Shades of black, brown, and tan may be present. Areas of white, gray, red, pink, or blue may also be seen.