Malignant Melanoma

The most serious skin cancer, melanoma, comes from the pigment producing cells of the skin called melanocytes. These typically appear as new or changing moles with an irregular shape, border, or color pattern. They may develop on any location of the body. Risk factors for melanoma include fair skin, excessive sun exposure with sunburns, tanning booth use, close family members with melanoma, having a large number of moles, or having a history of abnormal moles. Melanoma is very treatable when detected early. When more advanced, melanoma can spread and become fatal. Early lesions are treated with surgical removal. More advanced lesions are treated often in consultation with a surgical oncologist and medical oncologist.