62 patients with a histologically confirmed diagnosis of cutaneous malignant melanoma were interviewed from 1996 to 1998. Lesions were found mostly on patients backs (30.6%) and they were noted most frequently because of a change in colour (darker) (50%) and increase in size (43.5%). The median time between first noticing the melanoma and visiting a physician was one month, but for 28% of the patients it was more than three months. The median time between a medical examination and surgical removal was shorter than one month, but for 22% of the patients it was more than three months. Patients with bleeding lesions sought medical help later (14 months). Misdiagnosis led to a six months delay in treatment and if no action was taken there was a 13 months delay.