Types of Melanoma

The types of the most dangerous skin cancer.

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INTRODUCTION

What types of melanoma are there?

Every melanoma case is different. It is grouped into the term melanoma but can differ based on the location in the skin, the amount of damage, the patients age and a variety of other factors. In the future we might be able to define melanoma’s based on other factors, like genetic mutations.

Melanoma is most often categorised into four different types:

  • Superficial Spreading
  • Nodular
  • Lentigo Maligna
  • Acral Lentiginous

Three of these types are in situ, which means that they are located on the top of the skin and are mostly not invasive from the start. However, this can change with time. The fourth type is invasive from the start as they are located deeper in the skin, making it much more dangerous than the others.

TYPES

Different types of melanoma

Superficial spreading melanoma

One of the most common types of melanoma cancer with about 70% of all melanoma diagnoses. Recognising it may be difficult as they can appear as freckles. Normal moles can also change into superficial spreading melanoma over time which can take up to a couple years to develop. It is most often found in adults, but can be found in children as well.

Read more: Superficial Spreading Melanoma

Nodular Melanoma

A very dangerous type of melanoma that spreads quickly and causes about half of all melanoma deaths, while only 15% of melanoma is diagnosed as nodular melanoma.

Nodular melanoma can be hard to find as it often looks like a normal mole or pimple. It can appear anywhere on the body, however it mostly appears in areas that are exposed to sunlight most often.

Read more: Nodular Melanoma

Lentigo Maligna Melanoma

It is a type of invasive skin type which isn’t found often. It starts as lentigo maligna which is a condition found on the top of the skin, but grows slowly. When it starts growing under the skin it transforms into lentigo maligna melanoma which can spread a lot quicker and is much more aggressive – early detection is key.

Lentigo maligna melanoma is again hard to spot as it looks like a age spot or freckle. However it is to be found that it is a little larger compared to other melanoma conditions at around 6 millimetres. It is most often found on your face which does make it easier to spot either condition.

Read more: Lentigo Maligna Melanoma

Acral Lentiginous Melanoma

A rare form of melanoma most often found in people with Asian or people with a darker skin, however this does not exclude other skin types completely.

It is harder to recognise as it can look like a bruise, which is unfortunate because early treatment is crucial. It is most often found on hands and feet.

Rare types of melanoma

Not all melanoma is found on the skin, which makes them harder to spot. This makes them often more dangerous, but fortunately also more rare.

  • Musocal Lentiginous Melanoma can be a dangerous form of melanoma that normally does not form on the skin itself. It starts in moist locations such as the nose, mouth or throat. It is usually diagnosed at a later stage as it is not easily visible, which makes it very harmful.
  • Desmoplastic Melanoma is diagnosed most often around the mucosa, but is different to Mucosal Lentiginous Melanoma as it is mostly found on the neck, head or upper back. Unfortunately it is found that Desmoplastic Melanoma is often the same colour as the skin, which makes it hard to spot.
  • Intraocular Melanoma is the most common form of eye cancer. It is caused by changes in eye cells which cause them to have colour.

TOP POSTS

About melanoma types

spreading melanoma

Superficial spreading melanoma

Superficial spreading melanoma is the most common type of melanoma. It is classified as in situ. It occurs in the uppermost layers.
melanoma metastasize

Where does melanoma metastasize?

Melanoma can spread throughout the body. But there are a few organs that get affected more than normal when melanoma metastasize.
melanoma in situ

What is melanoma in situ?

Melanoma in situ means that the cancer cells haven’t yet spread beyond the epidermis. There are four stages, in situ being the first stage.

PREVENTION METHODS

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