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Malignant Melanoma

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer, which arises from the pigment cells (melanocytes) in the skin. In melanoma skin cancer, the melanocytes become malignant and multiply excessively.

Malignant melanoma causes

One of the most important causes of melanoma is exposure to too much ultraviolet light in sunlight. The use of artificial sources of ultraviolet light, such as sunbeds, also increases the risk of getting a melanoma.

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer because it is more likely to spread (metastasise) from the skin to other parts of the body than other types of skin cancer. If melanoma has spread to other parts of the body, those deposits are known as secondary melanoma (secondaries/metastases).

Malignant melanoma risk factors include:

  • fair skin that burns easily in the sun
  • multiple freckles
  • history of severe sunburn
  • history of excess sunbed use
  • previous and family history of melanoma
  • multiple atypical naevi (skin lesions)
  • a very large dark birthmark
  • a weakened immune system
  • Malignant melanoma prognosis


Although a diagnosis of melanoma can be serious, we catch most melanomas at an early stage so they do not cause any further problem. If we don’t catch lesions at the early stages then there is a higher risk of the melanoma spreading, which can reduce life expectancy.



If you are considering Malignant Melanoma treatment you can see our prices for treatment and consultation.

Read More about Malignant Melanoma treatment.

Dr Jennifer Crawley

Consultant Dermatologist
Children & Adults

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Dr Angela Tewari

Consultant Dermatologist
Children & Adults

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Having malignant melanoma means that you have cancer: it is a skin cancer beginning in cells known as melanocytes. These cells can grow to form non cancerous moles. 

People with melanoma are usually cured by the initial surgery. There is a 5-year survival rate which tells you what percentage of people live 5 years after the cancer is found, that is, how many out of 100. Amongst all people with melanoma of the skin, from the time of the initial diagnosis, the 5-year survival is 92%.

It’s common for people with advanced melanoma to feel tired, lose appetite and subsequently lose weight. Based on where the disease spreads to and also how healthy you are, your doctor will be able to suggest some treatments that would help you.
The most common clinically apparent sites in melanoma patients are the skin, lungs, brain, liver, bones, and the intestines.
Melanoma treatment can usually remove cancer, if caught early enough, the disease has a near 100 per cent cure rate, but melanoma can often come back.
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