Differentiating between the Types of Melanoma

Melanoma is the most commonly diagnosed and most serious type of skin cancer there is. It begins in skin cells called melanocytes, and become more serious when the person spends a lot of time in the sun because the ultraviolent radiation given off by the sun causes the melanocytes to possibly grow abnormally and become cancerous.

There are actually two different types of melanoma: melanoma and non-melanoma. Both begin in the epidermis but there are many differences. Non-melanoma cancers are those which are often grouped together because they develop from skin cells other than melanocytes. This includes basal cell and squamous cell cancers, both of which are still very serious but far less worrisome and dangerous that melanoma skin cancers.

The types of melanoma skin cancers are also referred to as malignant melanomas and cutaneous melanomas, and because most melanoma cells still produce melanin, the melanoma tumors are usually brown or black but can be other colors as well. Melanoma skin cancers can occur anywhere on the skin but are most likely to develop on the trunk, face and neck of the body.

Both types of melanoma skin cancers are very serious and are important to have diagnosed and treated as immediately as possible. This means that if you ever notice any signs or symptoms of melanoma that you should get in to see your doctor as soon as possible so that you can have a proper assessment and have it determined whether or not you actually do have melanoma.


The treatment of any type of melanoma can vary greatly from one case to the next. There are quite a few different conventional treatment options that are presently available and this includes surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The extent of your disease and personal factors such as your age, medical history and so on, will be largely determining in terms of which particular method of treatment will be used for you.

Radiation therapy is one of the most commonly used forms of treatment for both types of melanoma and may be used alone or in combination with surgery or chemotherapy and works by delivering radiation to cancer cells and killing them off.

It is really up to your own physician who will talk with you and discuss the options that you have. Make sure that you are educated about all the options and talk with him or her about what the best method of treatment is going to be in your case.

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