Learn About Melanoma

WHAT IS MELANOMA?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. Like other cancers, melanomas start when a particular cell or group of cells in your body begins to grow in an uncontrolled and dangerous way so they can invade surrounding tissues and potentially spread to other parts of the body. This happens when the DNA in a cell mutates so an abnormal cancerous clone of cells are produced. Most melanomas begin in a part of the skin called the dermal-epidermal junction, which is located between the epidermis and the dermis of the skin. As melanomas grow, they produce more cancer cells and invade deeper into the skin; they can potentially then invade the local tissues and spread (metastasize) to other organs in the body. However, when melanomas are detected soon after they begin, the chances that the cancerous cells can be removed completely before metastasizing are very high. This means that a melanoma that is diagnosed in its early stages has a high chance of being completely cured.

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. Like other cancers, melanomas start when a particular cell or group of cells in your body begins to grow in an uncontrolled and dangerous way so they can invade surrounding tissues and potentially spread to other parts of the body. This happens when the DNA in a cell mutates so an abnormal cancerous clone of cells are produced. Most melanomas begin in a part of the skin called the dermal-epidermal junction, which is located between the epidermis and the dermis of the skin. As melanomas grow, they produce more cancer cells and invade deeper into the skin; they can potentially then invade the local tissues and spread (metastasize) to other organs in the body. However, when melanomas are detected soon after they begin, the chances that the cancerous cells can be removed completely before metastasizing are very high. This means that a melanoma that is diagnosed in its early stages has a high chance of being completely cured.

Video Summary

Join the IMPACT Melanoma to help combat the rising rates of melanoma. Volunteer, donate or help build awareness about the importance of early detection and prevention. Watch the video to learn how you too can make a difference. Who will you inspire?

People of any age and any race can get melanoma, but some people are at higher risk. The more risk factors you have, the more likely you will get a melanoma. Risk factors for melanoma are:

  1. Being a white male over the age of fifty
  2. Having other family members who have had a melanoma
  3. Having atypical (dysplastic) nevi
  4. Being born with a mole or moles
  5. Ultraviolet light exposure

Read More

Do you know the ABCs of Melanoma? Melanomas may start out very small, but can grow and change over time.

Check out our "Know Your Moles" page to learn more!

 

Border around a moleMole colorsMole Diameter

Video Summary

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