Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that develops in melanocytes, which are pigment-producing cells.
While melanoma is less common than basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, it is also deadlier.
That being said, when detected and treated early, melanoma is often curable. The estimated five-year survival rate for melanoma, detected in its earliest stages, is approximately 99 percent.
Continue reading to learn all about melanoma, including melanoma warning signs and different types.
What Are the Melanoma Warning Signs?
Melanoma is common on sun-exposed parts of the body. However, it can occur anywhere and present in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
As such, it is important to conduct monthly self-exams and use to ABCDE guide to help you detect melanoma.
When inspecting your body from head to toe, including under nails, in between toes, on the palms of your hands, and on the soles of your feet, look for lesions that exhibit:
A – Asymmetrical appearance
B – Borders that are uneven, notched, or scalloped
C – Multiple colors with different shades of brown, black, or tan
D – Diameter that is larger than the size of a pencil eraser (approximately 6 mm)
E – Evolution in size, shape, color, and elevation
What Are the Different Types of Melanoma?
There are four types of melanoma, including:
- Superficial spreading melanoma
The most common type of melanoma. It can develop from a new mole or an existing mole. In the latter case, it is likely to grow on the surface of the skin for some time before penetrating deeper.
- Lentigo maligna
It presents similarly to superficial spreading melanoma and often occurs on sun damaged skin.
- Acral lentiginous melanoma
This type of melanoma often occurs on hard-to-spot areas and is the most common form of melanoma diagnosed in individuals with skin of color.
- Nodular melanoma
It is the most aggressive form of melanoma and grows deeper and more rapidly than the others.
For additional information about melanoma, please call our office today to schedule a comprehensive consultation with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marjan Yousefi.