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Skin Cancer – Melanoma



Melanoma is a disease of the skin in which cancer cells are found in the melanocytes, the cells that produce color in the skin.

Overview

Melanoma is the rarest, but most virulent, form of skin cancer. Although the incidence of melanoma is lower than other types of skin cancer, it has the highest death rate.

Understanding Your Diagnosis

To find out whether you have melanoma, your doctor will do a skin exam, looking for any moles or lesions that may be cancer. He or she will check the size, shape, color, and texture of the lesions on your skin.

Deciding on Treatment

Several treatments are available for melanoma—surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. You will want to discuss with your doctor the benefits and possible side effects of each option.

Managing Side Effects

Your cancer may cause symptoms, and you will probably have side effects from your treatment. Your health care team will work to ease any side effects that you experience.

Prevention and Screening

You can reduce your risk for melanoma by limiting the amount of time you spend in the sun and in tanning booths, and by using sunscreen.

Advanced Reading

Learn more about melanoma skin cancer from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Physician Data Query (PDQ®) for patients. It includes information about prevention, screening, and treatment.




 

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