MA­LIG­NANT MELANOMA > the FACTS

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WHAT? A type of skin can­cer that can spread to other ar­eas of the body. Melanoma is caused by skin cells that be­gin to de­velop ab­nor­mally. Ex­po­sure to ul­tra­vi­o­let light from the sun or sunbeds is thought to cause more melanomas. SYMP­TOMS: The ap­pear­ance of a new mole or changes to an ex­ist­ing mole. This can oc­cur any­where on the body, but most com­monly af­fected are the back in men and the legs in women. In most cases, melanomas have an ir­reg­u­lar shape and are more than one colour. The mole may also be larger than nor­mal and can be itchy or bleed. TREAT­MENT: The main treat­ment is surgery, but if melanoma isn’t di­ag­nosed un­til late, treat­ment in­volves medicines that tar­get spe­cific ge­netic changes in the melanoma, or medicines that boost the body’s im­mune re­sponse to it. INFO: can­cer­re­searchuk.org

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