Melanoma

Skin Cancer

What is melanoma?

Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, develops in the cells (melanocytes) that produce melanin — the pigment that gives your skin its color. Melanoma can also form in your eyes and, rarely, in internal organs, such as your intestines

Who gets melanoma

Most people who get it have light skin, but people who have brown and black skin also get melanoma. Fair skin (The risk is higher if the person also has red or blond hair and blue or green eyes). Sun-sensitive skin (rarely tans or burns easily). 50-plus moles, large moles, or unusual-looking

Symptoms


Symptoms might include a new, unusual growth or a change in an existing mole. Melanomas can occur anywhere on the body


Skin: darkening of the skin or lumps

Also common: bigger mole diameter, mole asymmetry, mole color changes, or skin mole with irregular

Survival rate

Stage IA: The 5-year survival rate is around 97%. The 10-year survival is around 95%.

Stage IB: The 5-year survival rate is around 92%. The 10-year survival is around 86%.

Stage IIA: The 5-year survival rate is around 81%. The 10-year survival is around 67%.

Stage IIB: The 5-year survival rate is around 70%. The 10-year survival is around 57%.

Stage IIC: The 5-year survival rate is around 53%. The 10-year survival is around 40%.

Stage IIIA: The 5-year survival rate is around 78%. The 10-year survival is around 68%.*

Stage IIIB: The 5-year survival rate is around 59%. The 10-year survival is around 43%.

Stage IIIC: The 5-year survival rate is around 40%. The 10-year survival is around 24%.

Stage IV: The 5-year survival rate is about 15% to 20%. The 10-year survival is about 10% to 15%. The outlook is better if the spread is only to distant parts of the skin or distant lymph nodes rather than to other organs, and if the blood level of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is normal.

How is it treated

Treatable by a medical professional

Treatment may involve surgery, radiation, medications, or in some cases chemotherapy

Prescription

Interferon alfa-2b by injection, Vemurafenib (Zelboraf), Dabrafenib

Also common

Lifestyle: Sunscreen

Procedures: Skin grafting, Radiation therapy, Mohs surgery, Wide local