When you’re checking yourself for new moles or growths, the one place on your body that is difficult to check is your scalp. Unfortunately melanomas on the scalp are more deadly than on other locations of the body. This could be due to a number of factors including the number of blood vessels in the scalp, proximity to the brain and the often delayed diagnosis when the melanoma is hidden by hair.
A thorough skin exam by a board certified dermatologist is so important to locate hard to find skin cancers. In addition, on an ongoing basis, you can ask your hair care professional to let you know if he or she sees anything unusual on your scalp during your haircuts. Melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer because of how quickly it spreads in your body.
Symptoms and the appearance of a cancerous lesion can vary widely and sometimes they are not obvious. It could be painful or sensitive to the touch, but not necessarily. It might bleed. And it could be just about any color or a combination of colors: brown, black, white, red and even blue. It could be raised or flat. Look carefully because these spots can be very small.
A recurring theme I’ve seen in my career is even when a primary care physician refers a patient to a dermatologist due to a scalp lesion or any other suspicious spot, the patient delays a few months in making the appointment and by that time the skin cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body.