International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology
Melanoma is the most serious cancer of the skin and its incidence is increasing, possibly due to the reduction of the ozone layer, allowing more sun exposure. Melanoma is a curable malignancy, when discovered early enough. Unfortunately, many patients still die from this skin cancer - even young people, because they do not heed the warning signs.
Some people are at higher risk than others for developing melanoma. These individuals have fair skin and were heavily exposed to the sun, especially during infancy or adolescence. Also, patients with many pigmented lesions (melanocytic nevi), in particular large and irregular dark lesions (melanocytic dysplastic nevi) are at a higher risk. Additional factors include having one or more family members with melanoma and a personal history of melanoma.
Gabriella Campos-do-Carmo, MD