Melanoma is usually, but not always, a cancer of the skin. It begins in melanocytes – the cells that produce the pigment melanin that colors the skin, hair and eyes. Melanocytes also form moles, where melanoma often develops. Having moles can be a risk factor for melanoma, but it’s important to remember that most moles do not become melanoma.
If your melanoma has spread to other areas, you may have:
Hardened lumps under your skin
Swollen or painful lymph nodes
Trouble breathing, or a cough that doesn’t go away
Swelling of your liver (under your lower right ribs) or loss of appetite
Bone pain or, less often, broken bones
Headaches, seizures, or weakness or numbness in your arms or legs
Types of melanoma
There are four types of melanoma.
Superficial spreading melanoma: This is the most common, and it often appears on the trunk or limbs. The cells tend to grow slowly at first, before spreading across the surface of the skin.
Nodular melanoma: It is the second most common type, appearing on the trunk, head, or neck. It tends to grow more quickly than other types, turning red—rather than black—as it grows.
Lentigo maligna melanoma: This is less common, and tends to affect older people, especially in parts of the body that have been exposed to the sun over several years. It starts as a Hutchinson’s freckle, or lentigo maligna, which looks like a stain on the skin. It usually grows slowly and it less dangerous than other types.
Acral lentiginous melanoma: This is the rarest kind of melanoma. It usually appears on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or under the nails. It is more likely in people with darker skin and does not appear to be linked to sun exposure.
Likewise with all malignant growths, inquire about is continuous into the reasons for melanoma.
Individuals with particular kinds of skin are progressively inclined to creating melanoma, and the accompanying variables are related with an expanded frequency of skin malignancy:
high spot thickness or propensity to create spots after sun introduction
high number of moles
at least five atypical moles
nearness of actinic lentigines, little dim dark colored spots, otherwise called liver spots, sun spots, or age spots
goliath intrinsic melanocytic nevus, darker skin denotes that present during childbirth, additionally called pigmentations
fair skin that does not tan effectively and consumes, in addition to light-hued eyes
red or light-shaded hair
high sun introduction, especially in the event that it produces rankling sunburn, and particularly if sun presentation is irregular as opposed to customary
age, as hazard increments with age
family or individual history of melanoma