19815 Health Library | Health and Wellness | Wellmont Health System
  • Conditions InDepth: Melanoma

    Melanoma is skin cancer of the melanocytes, the cells that produce skin color and give moles their dark color.
    Moles are collections of melanocytes. Normally, moles are benign. Sometimes, however, a mole can develop into melanoma. A new mole may also be an early sign of melanoma. The three major types of skin cancer are basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell are the two most common. Melanomas account for only 5% of all skin cancer cases; however, they are more dangerous because they are far more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Melanomas are responsible for about 79% of skin cancer deaths.
    Melanoma
    IMAGE
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
    Melanoma occurs when melanocytes divide without control or order. The disease typically starts in the skin, but it also may arise in other areas where melanocytes are found, such as in the eyes, digestive system, nail beds, or lymph nodes.
    Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. Artificial radiation from sun lamps and tanning booths can also cause skin cancer. Exposure to sun is the primary cause of melanoma, although some patients have a hereditary predisposition to develop these malignancies.
    According to the American Cancer Society, 62,480 people in the United States will be diagnosed with melanoma in the year 2008.
    What are the risk factors for melanoma?What are the symptoms of melanoma?How is melanoma diagnosed?What are the treatments for melanoma?Are there screening tests for melanoma?How can I reduce my risk of melanoma?What questions should I ask my doctor?What is it like to live with melanoma?Where can I get more information about melanoma?

    References

    American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp . Accessed September 22, 2008.

    National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/ .

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.