What are the different types of melanoma?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
The most common form of melanoma is superficial spreading. It represents 70% of all cases as it spreads through the epidermis, most commonly on trunk regions on men, legs in women, and back of both sexes. Nodular melanoma is approximately 20% and grows deeper, found on the head and neck and trunk areas. It is more common in men than women. Lentigo maligna melanoma accounts for 5% of cases in older adults on the face with sun exposure. Acral lentinginous melanoma is found most commonly in African Americans and Asians appearing on palms, soles, and under the nails.
Melanoma is cancer of the pigment-producing cells of your body, which are also known as melanocytes. There are various subtypes of melanoma, which have generally been characterized as to the way the cells look under the microscope and their growth pattern. These subtypes are not as important for prognosis as many other factors or qualities of an individual's melanoma. Many people in the field believe that classifying melanomas in this way is of limited value.

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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.