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Malignant melanoma on lower leg

Malignant melanoma on lower leg

M131/0026

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Credit

JAMES STEVENSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES STEVENSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

A malignant melanoma affecting the lower part of a leg. Melanomas are highly malignant tumours of the melanocytes, cells which produce a dark-brown to black pigment called melanin. Melanin occurs in the skin, hair, iris and choroid layer of the eyes. In the skin it is contained within special cells called chromatophores, which are found in the dermis. Melanomas usually occur in the skin, but are also found in the eye and muscous membranes. Such tumours may or may not contain the melanin pigment. Spread of this type of cancer to other parts of the body, particularly to the lymph nodes and liver, is common.

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