ZocdocAnswersWould nodular melanoma continue to grow without treatment?

Question

Would nodular melanoma continue to grow without treatment?

Was just wondering, if a person has nodular melanoma for 6 years or so, would it visibly continue to grow or just stop at some point?Also does it always at some point begin to bleed and ulcerate? Thanks

Answer

Thank you for this question. There are different types and subtypes of melanoma that can be present, and I recommend that you speak with your doctor. Each one of these can be dangerous and warrants treatment and close follow up thereafter. If a melanoma is not treated, it will usually continue to grow. The risk is that it can spread to other parts of the body and become life threatening, or even untreatable. Metastatic melanoma carries a rather grim prognosis in most cases. While many melanomas will grow and eventually the skin will start to break down and ulcerate, this is not always the case until late in the disease process. Waiting until that point can indicate that the cancer has progressed to a more advanced stage in some staging systems. The key with melanoma, as with most cancers, is early and appropriate treatment to limit the amount of treatment that is required later and to improve prognosis. If you or someone that you love has been diagnosed with a melanoma, it is important that this be treated promptly. Please speak with your doctor, either a dermatologist or another specialist who treats the body part where the melanoma was noted. Please speak with your doctor for a referral if needed.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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