What is a melanocyte? A melanocyte is a normal cell found in the skin that produces melanin. Melanin is a black or dark brown pigment that is seen in the skin, hair, and parts of the eye. Melanin is transferred from the melanocytes into nearby skin and hair cells. The concentrated areas of color seen on the skin are known as moles or nevi. What is Melanoma? Melanoma is a type of cancer that forms from melanocytes. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. Other more common, but usually less serious, types of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Of the many different types of melanoma, most are seen in the skin (this also includes nail beds, soles of the feet, and scalp), but melanoma can also occur in the eye, or on mucosal surfaces which include the anal canal, rectum, and vagina. In 2010, there will be an estimated 68,130 new cases of invasive ... read more on Melanoma: The Basics
Cancer risk is affected by a number of things in our environment, including ultraviolet light and sun exposure.
Sun Safety: Being sun-smart is being cancer-smart!
Introduction Sun (UVA and UVB rays) exposure can predispose to all types of skin cancers (melanoma, basal cell and squamous cell cancers). According to the most recent estimates, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. At least 50% of all individuals aged 65 or greater have had at least one episode of skin cancer. Skin
Sun Exposure and Cancer Risk
While there may be some benefit to soaking up the sun's rays, such as synthesis of vitamin D within our bodies, there are also many harmful side effects of sun exposure. Most of us know that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, either by natural sunlight or tanning beds, can lead to skin cancer. In addition, these rays can also result in other forms
Dark Skinned Individuals and Skin Cancer Risk
Brown skinned individuals, including black, Asian, Latino and Native Americans, often have a false sense of security when it comes to skin cancer risk, thinking they are not at risk because they do not "tan". While it is true that darker skinned individuals have a lower risk of skin cancer, they are not immune. They are also more likely
Expert answers to frequently asked questions about melanoma.
Sun Protection in an Infant
Question Can you use sunscreen lotion on a young child, less than 1 year-old? Answer Rachel Woods, RN, Nurse for the Surgical Dermatology Program at Penn Medicine responds: The American Academy of Pediatrics has said to use sunscreen by 6 months of age but that limited use is all right for younger babies. The best protection is to avoid having
Medications Causing Sun Sensitivity
Question Are there special precautions to take if you are on a medication that says "may increase sun sensitivity?" Answer Christopher Miller, MD, Dermatologist & Moh's Surgeon at Penn Medicine responds: Certain medications, such as tetracycline antibiotics, can increase your sensitivity to the sun. The precautions when you take these
Melanoma in Fingernail
Question Melanoma can occur under a fingernail: Fact or Myth? Answer Christopher Miller, MD, Dermatologist & Moh's Surgeon at Penn Medicine and Rachel Woods, RN, Nurse for the Surgical Dermatology Program at Penn Medicine resond: It is a fact that melanoma can occur under the fingernail. The cells that make the nail plate (the hard part of
Home Exercises Following Groin Lymph Node Dissection
Exercises to aid in recovery from groin lymph node dissection.
Home Exercises Following Keystone Flap Surgery
Exercises to aid in recovery from Keystone Flap Surgery.
Understanding Your Melanoma Pathology Report...
Almost every cancer diagnosis is received on a pathology report. This article will help you interpret what the pathology report of a melanoma means.
Did You Know... The Facts About Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the number one cancer diagnosis in the United States - more common than all breast, prostate, and lung cancers combined. The majority of cases are caused by sun damage to skin cells, and therefore are largely preventable. Every year in...
News stories related to melanoma risk, diagnosis and treatment.
Reports from medical professional meetings related to melanoma.
7th Annual Focus on Melanoma Conference: What’s New in Melanoma and News You Can Use
Date/Time: Friday, May 14, 2010, 7:30am – 2:30pm Location: Hilton Hotel 4200 City Avenue Philadelphia, PA Audience: Open to All Sponsor: Cancer - Abramson Cancer Center Cost: This event is free. Registration: This conference is FREE of charge. A $20 donation (non-tax deductible) is suggested to support the
Eye Tracking and Gating System for Proton Therapy of Uveal Melanomas
Presenting Author/Institution: Dongho Shin, Proton Therapy Center, National Cancer Center, Korea Background Ocular melanoma is an uncommon malignancy, usually occurring in the uvea of the eye. For asymptomatic patients and small tumors (<10 mm in diameter and <2 mm in height), observation is often an acceptable treatment. For
Interferon Therapy Delays Disease Recurrence and Prolongs Survival in Patients with Resected Melanoma
Jean-Jacques Grob, MD, professor dermatology, University of Marseille, Hopital Sante-Marguerite (Marseille, France), presented a study of interferon alfa-2a as adjuvant therapy in patients with resected (surgically removed) early stage melanoma. Melanoma is a cancer which arises in the pigment cells of the skin, mucuous membranes, eyes and