Melanoma Skin Cancer

Melanoma skin cancer is the most serious type of skin cancer. Melanoma occurs when the pigment-producing cells that give color to the skin become cancerous. Melanoma skin cancer has become more common in Canada, ranking as the 8th most common cancer in Canada. If melanoma is caught early, it has a high cure rate of 90%

People with fair, sun-sensitive skin, many moles, unusual looking moles, history of severe sunburns, or a family history are at the highest risk of developing melanoma.  In Canada, melanoma is one of the top 7 most frequently occurring cancers and incidence rates have more than tripled in the last 30 years.

Melanoma has four different types:

    • Superficial spreading melanoma accounts for about 70% of cases of this. The lesions will usually grow outwards, which will look like spots or moles that are spreading
    • Nodular melanoma is a more dangerous form of melanoma since it grows quickly downward into the skin. It often appears on areas that are not exposed to the sun, including the face, chest, and back. It appears raised and very dark or red
    • Lentigo maligna melanoma appears on the parts of the body constantly exposed to direct sunlight. Older people are most likely to get it. It can appear fairly wide, with a flat brown patch marked by several hues of brown and black
    • Acral lentiginous melanoma is the most common melanoma in dark-skinned people and those of African descent. It can appear on soles of feet, palms of hands and under toenails and fingernails