Melanoma Trust

In Memory of Sharon Rice O’Beirne


What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a cancer of the melanocytes (cells that produce pigment giving our skin its natural colour). Melanoma is by far the most serious and dangerous type of skin cancer, because it can spread easily to other organs in the body.

When it spreads, the cancer extends downwards from the epidermis and can invade healthy tissue such as nearby lymph nodes or it can get into your bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream or lymphatic system, the cancer can easily spread to other parts of the body. That’s why, even if a melanoma is cut out, the cancer can reappear months or years later, often in your lungs, liver or brain.

Melanoma develops on the skin so by checking your skin and being aware of any changes, melanomas can be detected before they have the chance to spread. However, the outcome very much depends on how deep the cancer has grown. A melanoma need only be 1mm deep to get into your bloodstream and spread. So detecting melanoma early is important. Melanoma is preventable by avoiding over exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Source : Cancer Institute NSW

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By admin
On 27 January, 2009
At 1:53 pm
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