Melanoma skin cancers that are growing rapidly exhibit a number of identifying characteristics. According to Australian researchers, rapidly growing melanomas are thicker, symmetrical, or elevated, have regular borders, and often itch or bleed. They do not fit the ABCD rule for melanoma, which stands for asymmetry, border irregularity, color irregularity, large diameter, the team notes.
"Because of their rapid growth," lead investigator Dr. Wendy Liu told Reuters Health, "there is only a small window of opportunity to capture these melanomas in their early stage of development."
"Rapidly growing melanomas can occur in anyone," she added, "not necessarily those with large numbers of moles and freckles. In fact, they more often occur in those without large numbers of moles and freckles, and elderly men. Morphologically, they are more often red -- rather than brown and black -- symmetrical, elevated and symptomatic."