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Our team specializes in treating melanoma, a type of skin cancer in which cancer cells are found in the melanocytes, the cells that produce color (pigment) in the skin. Melanoma may also be called cutaneous melanoma or malignant melanoma. Melanoma is the rarest, but most virulent, form of skin cancer.

Melanoma is a more serious type of cancer than the more common basal cell cancer or squamous cell cancer. Other types of skin cancer include merkel cell cancer, cutaneous cell carcinoma and Kaposi's sarcoma. 

Proper sun protection can help prevent skin cancer. Wear clothing that covers the body and apply sunscreen during outdoor activities such as playing sports or spending time at the pool. Learn more about preventing melanoma and sarcoma.

  • Risk Factors

    Persons with the following characteristics may be at an increased risk for melanoma:

    • Blond or red hair
    • Blue eyes
    • Fair complexion
    • Family history of melanoma
    • A changed or changing mole
    • Many ordinary moles (more than 50)
    • Many freckles
    • An immunosuppressive disorder
    • Dysplastic nevi (atypical moles)
    • Sun exposure
    • Inability to tan

    Dark brown or black skin is not a guarantee against melanoma. African-Americans can develop this cancer, especially on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, under nails or in the mouth.