Melanoma Education Foundation
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January 5, 2018 | Stephen Fine, Founder and President

Nodular and Radial Melanoma Revisited

Last year we posted a blog that discussed and differentiated between the two primary types of melanoma, Nodular and Radial.

In this post we revisit them in order to offer additional information. Also, to include photographs that provide visuals to better illustrate what to look for when performing monthly skin self-exams.

Both these types of melanoma have the potential to become fatal. However, nodular is the worse of the two evils; mostly due to its propensity to begin its development under the skin. This unfortunately gives it more time to grow before the patient has a chance to detect it.

It cannot be stated or reiterated enough that with any melanoma, the speed of discovery and treatment is far and away the single largest determining factor regarding whether a patient lives or dies.

The best chance of surviving melanoma is to catch it right at its outset. These 3 photos depict nodular melanomas in their earliest stages:

If left untreated, melanoma will get worse until the patient ultimately passes away. The 3 photos below show late-stage nodular melanoma. All of these cases, including that of a 12-year old boy, with  nodular on his ankle, were fatal.

Although they develop at a slower pace than nodulars, with time radial melanomas will start growing vertically below the skin’s surface. With either type, the bigger the surface nodules (bumps) get, the less curable the disease becomes.

Large surface bumps are an indication of significant growth beneath the skin. In that way, they are similar to icebergs. The visible portion represents only a small part of the whole, with the far more substantive- and dangerous -ice hidden unseen below the water.

Once a tumor is deep enough to release cancerous cells into the blood stream, it’ll have the capability of reaching any of the body’s other organs and lymph nodes.

These 3 photos show radial melanomas that have nodular features:

It’s important to note that, if a previously flat mole begins developing a bump, time is of the essence and it must be examined by a dermatologist immediately.

*Additional source article information & photos credit: