A nurse is assessing a skin lesion on the back of a 75-year-old patient. The lesion is black and blue, has irregular borders, and is asymmetrical. Based on this clinical description, the most likely diagnosis is:

Melanoma.

Explanation

• Malignant melanomas appear black, blue, or brown with irregular borders. They are usually asymmetrical, large, and evolving.

• Squamous cell carcinomas are characterized by local invasion, fast growth, and infrequent metastastasis. They usually present as red nodules with crust or ulceration. They are less common than basal cell carcinomas.

• Basal cell carcinomas are translucent, raised, and smooth. They are usually on sun-exposed skin and rarely metastasize or cause death. They are the most common type of skin cancer.

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