How melanoma starts

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How does melanoma start?

Technically speaking, melanoma is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes. Melanocytes are the cells in your body that produce melanin; these protect the deeper layers of the skin from UV radiation of the sun. From there, cancer that is formed can spread throughout the body. This makes melanoma very dangerous.

Where does melanoma appear after?

The above is how melanoma starts. So where does it start? Well, that depends. Melanoma can appear anywhere on the body and therefore can be seen in a wide range of places.

As the UV exposure from the sun is one of the biggest causes of skin cancer, places on the body that are exposed to sunlight are naturally at risk. Think about the face, neck, arms, legs, and hands. But UV exposure is not the only cause.

If melanoma starts in the melanocytes can also be traced back to genetics, environmental factors and more. That’s why it can appear everywhere on the body – also at places where you would not expect it like in the mouth, on the palm of your hands or under your fingernails.

What does a normal mole look like?

So when it comes to melanoma, it can start everywhere on the body. Make sure to know the early signs to look out for. There is the ABCDE method to self check your body.

Check your moles or spots for the ABCDE checklist:

Dermatologists identify melanoma symptoms using the ABCDE method. This method shows you which signs to look out for when examining suspicious moles, spots or growths on your skin.

  • Asymmetrical – Melanomas are distinctly asymmetrical
  • Border – melanomas have uneven borders
  • Colours – melanomas will contain at least two distinct colours
  • Diameter – melanomas are bigger than ¼ inch across
  • Enlargement – melanomas grow in size over time

The evolution of your mole(s) has become the most important factor to consider when it comes to diagnosing a melanoma. Knowing what is normal for YOU could save your life. If a mole has gone through recent changes in color and/or size, bring it to the attention of a dermatologist immediately.

Read more: ABCDE Melanoma self check

The evolution of a mole or growth is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to diagnosing melanoma. That’s why it’s essential for individuals to take note of what is normal for their bodies. Melanoma lesions will often have gone through recent changes in color and/or size while non-cancerous moles will usually stay the same over time.

Skin cancer pictures

If you see such melanoma symptoms, make sure to self-check and visit your doctor when you feel uncomfortable.

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"The melanoma could have been on my arm for years"
Andrew Bartlett
United Kingdom
"The melanoma could have been on my arm for years"
Andrew Bartlett
United Kingdom

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