Naples Dermatology PA​


(239)-261-3082  

4085 Tamiami Trail North Suite B203, Naples. FL, 34103 ​​

Dr. Scott A. Ross MD


Board Certified Dermatologist

Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology​​

Melanoma


Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer.   It can develop from damage to skin cells  - most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds.  


Melanomas often resemble moles and some develop from moles. The majority of melanomas are black or brown, but they can also be skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white.


Melanoma is caused mainly by intense, occasional UV exposure (frequently leading to sunburn), especially in those who are genetically predisposed to the disease. 


If melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable, but if it is not, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body.  It may then  become hard to treat and can be fatal. While it is not the most common of the skin cancers, it causes the most deaths.  



Melanomas can be recognized by patterns of growth that may bring them to your attention early.   Dermatologists use the letters ABCDE to help determine which skin lesions are most suspicious for melanoma.  


  • The "A" stands for asymmetry - one side or half of the lesion does not look like the other half.
  • The "B" stands for border - an irregular border may be of concern, where the edges of the lesion are not sharp.
  • The "C" stands for color - with black colors, variegated colors or a change of color being of concern.
  • The "D" stands for diameter - we often biopsy lesions that are over 6mm/(about a quarter of an inch) in diameter.
  • The "E" stands for evolving or changing - a lesion which suddenly changes or grows may indicate that it is cancerous.


Although not all or perhaps not even most lesions with these characteristics are cancerous, lesions with these features are the ones which are suspicious for malignancy and may require a skin biopsy for evaluation.

Common, benign moles look the same over time. Be on the alert when a mole starts to evolve or change in any way. When a mole is evolving, see a doctor. Any change — in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting — points to danger.