A glossary of common terms used in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of melanoma.

Acral Lentiginous

A kind of lentiginous skin melanoma It is also known as subungual melanoma. Acral lentiginous melanoma is observed on the palms, soles and under the nail. It occurs on non hair-bearing surfaces of the body which may or may not be exposed to sunlight. It is also found on mucous membranes. Unlike other forms of melanoma, acral lentiginous melanoma does not appear to be linked to sun exposure.

Actinic Keratosis (AK)

Small, scaly red patch caused by sun exposure; it is potential precancer of the non-melanoma type.

Adjuvant Therapy

The use of chemotherapy or radiotherapy in addition to surgical resection in the treatment of cancer.


Therapies such as IPI (Ipilimumab) and Yervoy, that act to put the brakes on tumor growth by becoming an immune booster. It blocks a protein called CTLA-4 that acts as a brake on T cells, the soldiers of the immune system. Approved by the FDA in March 2011 for use in Stage IV patients.


Promising therapy akin to Yervoy (anti-CTLA-4)


Asymmetry of a skin spot; one half does not match the other.