Cancer and Neoplasms, Skin

Melanoma is a rare and dangerous form of skin cancer originating from pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes. Melanoma can occur anywhere on the skin and also in the eyes. Melanoma occurring on the skin is called cutaneous and when it occurs in the eye it is called intraocular melanoma. The coloration of the melanoma is usually black or brown but can vary between shades of pink and purple and may resemble a mole. Unlike the other skin cancers that are usually localized, melanoma invades surrounding structures and can spread to any part of the body. This condition is more common in women and is becoming more prevalent. Exposure to ultraviolet light is a known risk factor in predisposing disease development but the exact cause remains unknown. Early recognition and treatment can be curative.

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