Spotting a break in the pattern can save a life
The timely diagnosis of potentially lethal melanomas requires vigilance and attention to the basic principles taught in medical school: thoughtful history-taking followed by thorough examination.
Lesions which “break the pattern” deserve careful assessment regardless of whether they are encountered at a scheduled skin examination or otherwise.
The first step in assessing such a lesion is to inquire about its history. Is the patient aware of it? If so, when was it first noticed and has it changed? Are there any symptoms?