What is melanoma?


Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is less common than other cancers, yet it is considered the most dangerous because it can metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. This year, it is estimated that more than 90,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma.


Melanoma is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in adults ages 20 to 30, and the leading cause of cancer death in young women ages 25 to 30.


stage zero melanoma


Melanoma occurs when malignant (cancerous) cells grow in the skin’s melanocytes, which are the cells in the deepest layer of the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin) and give the skin its color or pigment.

Though melanoma is most common in adults, it can also be diagnosed in children and adolescents. 

Melanoma often begins with a mole or a patch of skin, usually on sun-exposed skin like the head (especially the face/nose), neck, arms, legs and midsection.

When melanoma begins in the skin, it is called cutaneous melanoma. It also can occur in mucous membranes, tissues that cover surfaces like the lips, and in the eye (this type of skin cancer is called ocular melanoma).

The skin cancer specialists at the Multidisciplinary Skin Cancer Clinic at Miami Cancer Institute combine world-recognized medical expertise, innovation and compassionate care to detect and treat your specific cancer, creating precise, personalized treatment plans that incorporate groundbreaking discoveries, collaborations with other world-renowned cancer researchers, and the best individualized treatment just for you.


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