DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Melanoma. Close-up of a malignant melanoma skin cancer on the surface of a 35 year-old woman's skin. Melanomas are cancerous tumours of melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin (the pigment that colours the skin, hair & eyes). They usually occur in the skin, but may also appear in the eyes and mucous membranes. They may contain melanin or be free of pigment. Spread of this cancer to the lymph nodes and liver is common. As it is the most serious type of skin cancer, early diagnosis of melanoma is essential. Treatment consists of surgical removal of the tumour; radiotherapy and anticancer drugs may also be necessary.
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