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How does stage 4 melanoma affect the body?

Stage 4 melanoma is initially caused by the overproduction of certain skin cells called melanocytes, which are the cells that produce skin pigment. 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. Stage 4 melanoma is the fifth and final stage of the skin cancer, so growths have spread from the skin through the regional lymph nodes and into other internal organs. By the time the cancer reaches stage 4, organs are generally too damaged to ever fully recover.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.