What is Melanoma?
Melanoma refers to a very serious type of skin cancer caused by the uncontrolled growth of melanocytes (also known as pigmented cells).
Melanoma can affect any adult at any age. The children cases are rarely reported.
The main risk factors that trigger progression of melanoma skin cancer are older age, presence of numerous melanocytic naevi (moles) on one’s body, Parkinson’s disease, family history of melanoma, and presence of atypical naevi. Moreover, individuals with white skin tend to be in greater risk because their skin burns easier on the sun.
Melanoma occurs anywhere, even on the areas of the body that did not experience great exposure to the sun. It mostly appears as skin lesion. However, due to complication of the condition, it can also occur in eye, mouth, and brain.
Unusual looking mole or freckle is the first sign of melanoma. The major features of melanoma include change in size (as lesion develops further, it increases in size), abnormal colour, and irregular shape. The colour may be black, dark brown, blue, red, or tan. Some lesions can be bleeding and/or itching.