What Is Melanoma?

This dangerous skin cancer is responsible for 9,000 deaths in the United States each year. This type of cancer starts in “melanocytes,” which are cells that make pigment called “melanin.” Although it is less common than other skin cancers, if not treated early it’s more likely to spread to other parts of the body.

A mole or brown spot might be a melanoma if it has these “ABCDE” characteristics:

  • Asymmetry: Sides don’t match
  • Border that is irregular: Ragged or blurred edges
  • Color that is uneven: Tints of brown, black, tan, and possibly white, red, gray, blue, or pink
  • Diameter: Change in size
  • Evolving: Changes over weeks or months

A melanoma could present as changes to an existing mole, or the appearance of a new one, so be sure to tell your doctor if you see any skin changes.

Types of Melanoma

The Waldman Center is home to the field’s leading specialists, who are highly skilled in caring for the following types of melanoma:

  • Superficial spreading melanoma
  • Nodular melanoma
  • Lentigo maligna melanoma
  • Acral lentiginous melanoma

Our physicians treat all types of skin cancer no matter the stage.