Where does melanoma start?

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The start of melanoma isn’t always from a mole. It can also occur normal-appearing skin, where a lesion appears and starts to develop. This usually (but not exclusively) happens in places that have had exposure to sunlight like your back, legs, arms, and face.

Technically speaking, melanoma is 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.

Hidden places where melanoma starts

As mentioned before, melanoma can start anywhere on your body. There are some hidden places to keep an eye on, as they are known for developing melanomas that are hard to spot. First, there are a few places that are considered ‘hidden’ because they don’t get a lot of exposure to the sun – like between your toes and on your palms, soles, scalp or genitals.

Then there are places on your body that you won’t check on a daily basis because it’s hard to check, or you simply don’t think about it. Examples are in the mouth or nose, under a nail, and in the eye. These may be mistaken for other conditions. So if you feel uncomfortable about anything, go and see your doctor to understand the issue.

Here are some early photos of melanoma so that you have some idea what to look out for.

Read more about: What is melanoma? the complete story

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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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