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What Is Melanoma?

A serious form of skin cancer, melanoma forms in the melanocytes, which are the skin’s pigment cells. When melanocytes cluster together in groups, a mole is formed. Melanocytes can potentially form a cancer when exposed to recurring ultraviolet damage, the most common of which is sun exposure.

There are three layers in our skin – the epidermis is the outer layer, the dermis is the next layer and the hypodermis is the deepest layer. Melanomas are ranked by levels, which refers to the cancer’s depth of skin penetration. An in situ or Level 1 melanoma is located in the epidermis, Levels II, III and IV melanoma are found in the dermis and Level V melanoma occurs in the hypodermis.

Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and can grow rapidly when left untreated. For this reason, it’s crucial to consult your doctor or dermatologist about any lesions which cause concern.

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a type of cancer that forms in pigment cells (melanocytes). It is most common in the skin and, if left untreated, it is the most aggressive form of skin cancer.
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Types of Melanoma

There are a number of different types of melanoma and your pathology report will describe your melanoma classification.
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Melanoma Facts

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer - get the facts about Melanoma.
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Mutations in Melanoma

Melanoma is one of the cancers with the highest frequency of genetic mutations.
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Glossary

A glossary of common terms used in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of melanoma.
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“I was 31 when one day I noticed a mole on my stomach which had a new black dot on it. My mum was visiting so I showed her and she had this look on her face like she knew it wasn’t good.”
Brooke Esber
MPA Patient Story - Brooke Esber and family smiling at the camera