Last year, almost 9,500 Americans succumbed to metastatic melanomas, the rarest form of skin cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
A metastatic melanoma results due to a melanoma—a type of cancerous skin tumor that develops in normal or pigmented skin cells (a mole or birthmark) when melanin (coloring pigment) grows rampant. Metastatic melanomas are considered deadly as they quickly spread (or metastasize) to other areas of the body—such as the blood vessels or lymphatic system. And although the signs are vague in the later stages, a melanoma can show the following warning signs…
1. Changes in Skin Shape, Color or Texture
In the earliest stages, melanomas tend to appear as a new skin growth that alters the shape, color, or texture of unblemished skin (i.e., a bruise-like mark or wart that won’t heal or a dark streak under a toenail). These changes can take place quickly within weeks or gradually change over months.