It often appears as a new blemish or mole on the skin. It can vary in color from black to no color at all. Nodular melanoma is so dangerous because they tend to grow deep into the skin, rather than wide. This means that they can progress a long way before they are discovered.
Nodular Melanoma Symptoms
Nodular melanoma is often compared to another type of melanoma known as radial melanoma. Radial melanoma usually forms in existing moles or blemishes on the skin, but nodular melanoma are more likely to occur spontaneously where there were no previous marks. Not just moles, but also birthmarks, freckles, and other areas of the skin that are discolored, can be the site of nodular melanoma.
Radial melanoma is easier to detect because it causes more noticeable changes in the size, shape, texture, and color of the skin. Nodular melanoma range in color from black to having no color at all and they can be shades of dark brown and red.
Doctors use what is called the “EFG properties” to help them diagnose nodular melanoma. The EFG properties describe three symptoms commonly seen in nodular melanoma. In this case E stands for elevated, F stands for firm and G stands for growing. If the new blemish is elevated above the skin, if it feels firm to the touch and if it is growing then it is likely a nodular melanoma.
Noticeable growth can sometimes be seen in nodular melanoma in as little as two to three weeks. The shape of nodular melanoma is often described as dome-shaped. In some cases the area might also feel itchy and bleed.
Symptoms to also look out for include what might appear to be a blood blister or a blemish that does not go away in a reasonable amount of time. This is especially true if the patient was not injured at the site or is not prone to getting blemishes.
Types of Nodular Melanoma
While rare, there is one variant of nodular melanoma and that is polypoid melanoma. Polypoid melanoma is a highly malignant variant of nodular melanoma.