One may have a few large brown spots here and there around their body and loads of tiny brown spots. Inside a few of these spots are smaller darker brown spots that are irregularly shaped. melanoma is a disease that has a symptoms of the following:

A mole that has changed colour, size or shape
A mole that is bleeding, oozing or crusting

This theoretical spot is flat, not bleeding/oozing/crusting but does have darker spots with in it that seem to be developing over the past few months. Lets say that this person is 16 if that helps. Is this theoretically an early sign of cancer?

  • Welcome to health SE :-). It is impossible to make a diagnosis on-line, which is why questions about personal medical advice are off-topic here. Concerns of having cancer are serious ones and all the questions you have should be directed at your doctor.
    – Lucky
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 20:19
  • @caelblack this editing into a "more general" question has transparently not made it more general. Perhaps something like "when you should make an appointment to see a doctor about a mole you feel is unusual" might get closer to a general question. Tossing in "hypothetical" and "theoretical" does nothing like that. Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 18:41

1 Answer 1


You are quite right; most moles are harmless, but it's important to keep a vigilant eye for abnormalities! So kudos to you for being aware, doing research, etc. According to this website http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Mole-slideshow.aspx, the ABCDE of suspicious mole detection are the following:

  • A: Asymmetry
  • B: Border
  • C: Color ---

A normal mole usually has one uniform colour, whereas melanomas are often uneven in colour. As the picture shows, a melanoma can have two or three shades of brown or black, or varying shades of red and pink. The darkening of a mole is a sign that it is possibly becoming cancerous.

  • D: Diameter
  • E: Elevation or Enlargement

**There's more information on each of the ABCDE (included on the website), but color seemed to be the most relevant and concerning to you.

I recently had the same question myself (as I've noticed a darker center in my mole that was spreading its diameter). I can certainly understand the worry.

I went to the dermatologist who actually just removed the mole as a skin biopsy so that it can be tested to see if it's positive for melanoma. I have not gotten the results back yet, but the procedure was painless and quick. I'm not sure that a dermatologist can tell just by appearance if it's positive for melanoma -- that's why they do the biopsy -- so I suggest that you see a dermatologist (you might need a referral from your family doctor).

Best of luck!!

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