Melanoma 11

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posted by alias UCF College of Medicine on Saturday 8th of November 2014 05:43:44 PM

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Melanoma, also redundantly known as malignant melanoma, is a type of skin cancer that develops from the pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes. Melanomas typically occur in the skin, but may rarely occur in the mouth, intestines, or eye. In women, they most commonly occur on the legs, while in men, they most commonly occur on the back. About 25% of melanomas develop from moles. Changes in a mole that can indicate melanoma include an increase in size, irregular edges, change in color, itchiness, or skin breakdown. The primary cause of melanoma is ultraviolet light exposure in those with low levels of the skin pigment melanin. The UV light may be from the sun or other sources, such as tanning devices. Those with many moles, a history of affected family members, and poor immune function are at greater risk. A number of rare genetic conditions, such as xeroderma pigmentosum, also increase the risk.

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