Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing melanin. It is less common than non-melanoma skin cancers but more serious due to its ability to spread to other parts of the body.

Signs and Symptoms

. New mole or change in an existing mole

. Changes in shape, size, or colour of a mole

. Itchy, bleeding, or painful moles



i. Superficial spreading melanoma: Most common, appears as a flat or slightly raised discoloured patch.

ii. Nodular melanoma: Fast-growing, appears as a raised lump, usually black or red.

iii. Lentigo maligna melanoma: Develops slowly, often in sun-exposed areas.

iv. Acral lentiginous melanoma: Common in people with darker skin, appears on palms, soles, or under nails.

v. Amelanotic melanoma: Lacks pigment, appears pink or red.


Risk Factors

1. Exposure to UV light (sunlight or tanning beds)

2. Having many moles or freckles

3. Fair skin, light hair, and eye colour

4. Family history of melanoma



. Visual examination

. Dermatoscopy

. Biopsy of suspicious moles



. Surgery: Primary treatment, especially effective if caught early.

. Additional treatments: Depending on the stage, may include immunotherapy, targeted therapy, chemotherapy, and radiation.



i. Avoiding sunburn by using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and seeking shade.

ii. Regularly checking skin for new moles or changes in existing moles.

iii. Avoiding the use of sunbeds.

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