Melanoma is a malignant tumor, formed in melanocytes, the cells responsible for generating melanin. Due to this reason, melanoma often acquires a brown or black color. In the United States, melanoma is the eighth most common malignancy. Melanoma is categorized as insitu and invasive melanoma. In Latin, ‘insitu’ means localized. It occupies only the top layer of the skin. The invasive melanomas are more serious and difficult to cure. They go deeper into the skin.
Melanomas are divided into four groups. The first three start as insitu and later become invasive. The fourth form of melanoma is invasive from the beginning.
The most common type of melanoma is superficial spreading melanoma. The maximum number of cases reported, are cases of superficial spreading melanoma. It occupies the top layer of the skin for a long time before becoming invasive.
Lentigo maligna is an invasive form of melonama. It affects the top layer of the skin for a long time before going deeper. It mainly affects the older age group. Due to a constantly exposure to the sun, this condition occurs in the ears, arms and upper trunk.
Acral lentiginous melanoma is the third form of melanoma. It is found in people with darker skin. It is more common among Asians and African-Americans. It also spreads along the top layer of skin before turning invasive.
Nodular melanoma is the fourth type of melanoma. It is the most aggressive form of melanoma. At the time of its diagnosis, it is invasive. The most frequently affected areas are arms, legs, trunk and the scalp, especially in older people.
In some families, people have strange-looking moles that may show signs of cancer. It is essential for such people to have regular check-ups to detect the cancerous cells in time and increase the chances of healing.