Four Forms of Melanoma

Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer. There are four main types of melanoma – three of which begin only on the outermost layer of the skin, and one of which is more invasive. Here is a look at each of the four types:

Nodular melanoma

Nodular melanoma is the most aggressive type of melanoma and it is the only invasive type. It is characterized by a raised part of the skin that is often black but can be blue, gray, white, red or tan or brown. Nodular melanoma most often occurs on the legs, arms and trunk, and the scalp in men.

Superficial spreading melanoma

Superficial spreading melanoma: Making up about 70 percent of all melanoma cases, it is the most prevalent type of melanoma. Superficial spreading melanoma is seen most often in young people. It grows on the outermost layer of the skin and becomes more invasive the longer it progresses. Signs of superficial spreading melanoma include a flat or slightly bulging patch of skin that is discolored and has an irregular shape. The skin may be brown, black, blue, tan, red or white. Often, this type of melanoma begins in a non-cancerous mole. It is most commonly found on the upper back, a man’s trunk or a woman’s legs.

Lentigo maligna

Lentigo maligna shares some characteristics with superficial spreading melanoma. Both types initially remain on the outermost part of the skin, and start with slightly bulging skin that is discolored – either brown, dark brown or tan. Lentigo maligna most often occurs in older people, especially on sun-damaged skin on the ears, arms, face and upper trunk.

Acral lentiginous melanoma

Acral lentiginous melanoma also spreads on the surface of the skin. Yet, it differs from the other two types of non-invasive melanoma in that it usually starts as a brown or black mark under the nails or the bottoms of the hands or feet. It is common among dark-skinned people, such as Asians and African Americans, and can progress more quickly than the previous two types of melanoma.

Treatments for Melanoma

Research skin cancer treatment methods utilized for effectively eliminating melanoma from your skin.