Melanoma is caused by the overproduction of certain skin cells called melanocytes. This cell overgrowth usually starts on an existing mole on the skin or as a new skin growth. Generally, these growths are found in areas of skin that are exposed to sunlight, although they may be found in other parts of the body, including internal mucous membranes like those found in the esophagus and urinary tract. If left untreated, melanoma can spread rapidly to other parts of the body, so it is considered one of the more serious types of skin cancer.
- Q How often should I have my skin checked for melanoma?
- Q How are melanoma cells different from other cancer cells?
- Q Is melanoma serious?
- Q What factors affect my prognosis with melanoma?
- Q What is melanoma?
- Q Can I develop melanoma on parts of my body that do not get sun?