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Skin cancer types: Melanoma


What is melanoma?
A type of skin cancer, melanoma is often called the “most serious skin cancer” because it can spread from the skin to other parts of the body.

Is melanoma contagious? No

Could I have melanoma?

Close-up of an early melanoma mistaken for a mole
Melanoma: Signs and symptoms

See the different ways melanoma can appear and learn how you can find it.

Young woman with a birthmark on her back, skin. Checking skin on body for moles.
How can I tell if I have skin cancer?

If you find a spot on your skin that could be skin cancer, here’s what you need to do.

Woman pointing to a mole on her shoulder while getting a skin exam from her dermatologist
How is melanoma diagnosed?

Dermatologists use tools, such as a dermatoscope, to help them get a close look at a suspicious spot.

How to spot melanoma

A photo for an article about how to check your nails for melanoma
How to check your nails for melanoma

When checking for signs of skin cancer, you may only think to check your skin. However, it's important to check your nails, too. Look for these signs when checking your nails for melanoma.

Close-up of bare feet for a Caucasian person and an African American person
Is that melanoma on your foot?

Melanoma, the most serious skin cancer, develops on skin that gets too much sun. It can also begin in places where the sun rarely shines, such as your foot. Here’s what you need to know to find melanoma on your feet.

Group of women of different race and ethnicity
Skin cancer in people of color

People of all colors, including those with brown and black skin, get skin cancer. The good news is you can find skin cancer early. Found early, most skin cancers, including melanoma, can be cured.

Dermatologist examining child's mole
5 signs that your child’s mole needs to be checked

Melanoma is rare in young children. Even so, there are times when a mole should be checked by a dermatologist just to be sure. Caught early, melanoma is highly treatable.

Baby boy at dermatologist for mole skin exam check-up
In children, melanoma can look different

To help parents find melanoma early, dermatologists want parents to know that melanoma can look different in children.

Wooden ABCDE play blocks on white background
ABCDEs of melanoma

Learn how to identify the signs of melanoma. Consult your dermatologist immediately if any of your moles or pigmented spots exhibit the ABCDEs.

Woman checking spot beneath her armpit for skin cancer
Melanoma: Find it early

When found early, melanoma is highly treatable. The key to finding melanoma early is to perform skin self-exams so that you can check your own skin for signs of this skin cancer.

Woman doing skin exam using magnifying glass on her ankle
Skin self-exam

Detect skin cancer early by following these dermatologists’ tips for checking your skin.

Causes and risks

Father and his two little sons together at the beach
What causes melanoma?

Learn what causes melanoma and why some people have a higher risk of developing it.

Hand holding placard with quiz text and speech bubble symbols
What increases melanoma risk?

More people are developing melanoma, the most-serious skin cancer, than ever before. Do you know what increases your risk of getting this sometimes deadly skin cancer? You can find out by taking this quiz.

Male genetic research scientist working with a tablet in a laboratory with a computer monitor in the background showing DNA structure.
Genetic testing for melanoma

If you’re worried about getting melanoma, you may be wondering whether you should have genetic testing. Before getting a genetic test for melanoma, here are some facts you should know.

A mature man looking concerned at home
Men over 50

By age 50, men are more likely than women to develop melanoma. Learn why melanoma seems to strike men harder.