What is melanoma? Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that starts in the pigment - producing skin cells called melanocytes. These cells become abnormal, grow uncontrollably, and aggressively invade surrounding tissues.
Early signs: The most important warning sign for melanoma is a change in size, shape, or color of a mole or other skin growth, such as a birthmark. Watch for changes that occur over a period of 1 month to 1 or 2 years.
Melanoma develops when normal pigment - producing skin cells called melanocytes become abnormal, grow uncontrollably, and invade surrounding tissues. Usually only one melanoma develops at a time. Although melanomas can begin in an existing mole or other s
Risk factors for melanoma include: History of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Sun exposure is the single most important risk factor for melanoma. History of sunburns, previous melanoma or other skin cancer, and family history of melanoma are also
The primary risk factor for developing melanoma is excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Some experts believe that 65% or more of melanoma is caused by exposure to the sun, especially during childhood.
A physical exam of skin is used to evaluate the skin for melanoma. If melanoma is suspected, a skin biopsy will be done. For this, your health professional will remove a sample of skin tissue and send it to a pathologist to be examined under a microscope.