Melanoma is a cancerous mass of melanocyte cells (the cells responsible for producing the pigment melanin in the skin). This type of cancer is highly metastatic. Melanoma spreads to other organs and parts of the body as cancerous cells enter the vast network of lymph and blood vessels in the  dermis layer of the skin.

Melanoma is highly treatable if detected early.

Melanoma detection:

  • a dark mole that contains a mixture of other colours, such as red, white, grey and black

  • a spot that changes shape, colour, size or surface

  • a constantly itchy mole 

  • a mole that is greater than six millimetres in diameter (bigger than a pencil eraser)

  • a new flat mole that appears after age 40

  • a sore that doesn’t heal

Normal moles are:

  • evenly coloured brown, tan or black spots

  • flat or raised

  • round or oval

  • less than 6 mm in diameter (about the width of a pencil eraser)

Chabner, Davi-Ellen. 2007. The Language of Medicine. 8th ed. Saunders Elsevier, Missouri


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