Malignant Melanoma is the most deadly of all skin cancers.
Every year an estimated 7,700 Americans will die from Melanoma. It is projected that more than 46,000 Americans will develop
Melanoma begins in melanocytes, the skin cells that produce dark protective pigment called melanin which makes the
skin tan. Since melanoma cells usually continue to produce melanin, the cancer appears in mixed shades of tan,brown,and black
although it can be red and white. Melanoma can metastasize or (spread) , making treatment essential.
Melanoma may appear suddenly or begin in or near a mole, or another dark spot in the skin. It
is important to know the location and appearance of the moles on the body to detect changes early Any changing mole must be
examined by a dermatologist. Early Melanoma can be removed while in
the curable stage with a 95% cure rate.
Excessive sun exposure, with or without a sunburn, is the
most important preventable cause of Melanoma. Light-skinned individuals are also at particular risk including red heads and
blondes. Heredity also plays apart. A person has an increased chance of developing Melanoma if a relative or close family
member has had Melanoma. Atypical moles (dysplastic nevi), which may run in families, and a large number of moles more than
50, can serve as markers for people at increased risk for developing Melanoma.
Dark skin is not a guarantee against Melanoma. People with darker skin color can develop melanoma, especially
on the palms, soles, under the nails, mouth and in between fingers and toes.
Source: American Academy of Dermatology
*Click on the toolbar at the top of the page to view how to do a self- examination as well as
what to look for when examining.
PLEASE NOTE: MY MELANOMA
DID NOT LOOK LIKE ANY OF THESE DARK MOLES ABOVE. MINE WAS LIGHT BROWN AND CHANGED TO AN OVAL AND BECAME LARGER OVER TIME.
LIKE A SPOT THAT CHANGED. KNOW YOUR BODY. MY MOM
NOTICED. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS...