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Melanoma

Summary

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Often the first sign of melanoma is a change in the size, shape, color, or feel of a mole. Most melanomas have a black or black-blue area. Melanoma may also appear as a new mole. It may be black, abnormal, or "ugly looking."

Thinking of "ABCDE" can help you remember what to watch for:

  • Asymmetry - the shape of one half does not match the other
  • Border - the edges are ragged, blurred or irregular
  • Color - the color is uneven and may include shades of black, brown and tan
  • Diameter - there is a change in size, usually an increase
  • Evolving - the mole has changed over the past few weeks or months

Surgery is the first treatment of all stages of melanoma. Other treatments include chemotherapy and radiation, biologic, and targeted therapies. Biologic therapy boosts your body's own ability to fight cancer. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
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Diagnosis and Tests

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  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (Logical Images)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (American Academy of Dermatology) - PDF
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in

Living With

  • (Melanoma International Foundation)
  • (American Cancer Society) Also in

Related Issues

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  • (American Academy of Dermatology)

Specifics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
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Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Images

  • (Logical Images)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)

Videos and Tutorials

  • Video (Melanoma International Foundation)

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)
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Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in

Find an Expert

  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation)

Patient Handouts

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