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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 underwent full body CT scan while in hospital to be told by the registrar that rest of the body was clear of tumours. Yippee. Two days later I was told that this diagnosis was wrong and there were tumours in my lungs and suspicious spots on top of the adrenal glands and in the lymph nodes on the left side of my neck and a need for a future PET scan.”
Chris Murphy
MPA Patient Story - Chris Murphy smiling at the camera