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Photo of melanoma, dark-brown growth on the skin


Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that originates in the melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin, hair, and eyes. Unlike basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, melanoma is less common but can be more aggressive and have a higher risk of spreading to other parts of the body if not detected early. It often appears as a new mole or a change in an existing one, exhibiting irregular borders, an uneven color pattern, and a larger size. Melanoma is often associated with sun exposure, but it can develop in areas not exposed to sunlight. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial to improve the prognosis. Treatment for melanoma typically involves surgical removal, and in advanced cases, may include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy. Regular skin self-examinations and annual skin checks by a dermatologist are essential for early detection, and sun protection measures are important in preventing melanoma development.

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