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Learning About Cutaneous Melanoma

Conveniently located to serve Indianapolis

Learning About Cutaneous Melanoma

Melanoma is a type of cancer in the melanin cells, and can come in four main types. Each type comes with different symptoms. Some types of melanoma are more common than others. Among them is cutaneous, and this is one of the most dangerous of them all.

What Is Cutaneous Melanoma?

As the name indicates, if the cancer occurs on the melanocytes found in the skin, it is called cutaneous melanoma. This kind of melanoma is a lethal type of cancer that can spread to other parts of the body. If diagnosed early, however, the survival rate of those who have it may increase.


Though hereditary factors are linked to this type of cancer, there are numerous other possible causes as well. One main factor causing cutaneous melanoma is UV damage. Excess exposure to direct sunlight or other forms of prolonged UV exposure can all increase the risks of cutaneous melanoma. What starts as a normal sunburn can later spread and become severe and lead to cutaneous melanoma.

Those with lighter skin tones are believed to be at a higher risk of this type of cancer. This is because these are the candidates that are more likely to suffer severe skin damage from sun exposure.

Remember that exposure to UV rays from all the sources count and the Sun is not the only source of UV rays that you need to pay attention to. Tanning beds are other common areas of UV exposure. These can significantly increase the risk of acquiring cutaneous melanoma.

Understanding the Different Types Of Cutaneous Melanoma


One of the most commonly occurring types of cutaneous melanoma is Superficially spreading melanoma. This types starts with what looks like a normal mole. But if the mole appears to suddenly spread, increase in size, or even occur in areas where they were not there earlier, then it would be good idea to consult a dermatologist. Another visible sign is also a change in the color of the moles.

Nodular Melanoma

This is another common type of cutaneous melanoma. Nodular melanoma spreads inwards and is found to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. The inner skin tissues might be affected more than the surface layer. This means that there will be very few visible symptoms on the skin’s surface, making this type of melanoma difficult to diagnose.

If there is a cancerous mole occurring with fibrous cells around it, then it may be a case of Desmoplastic melanoma. This type of melanoma is less common than the others, but it is also caused by excess sun exposure. Another one of the less common types of melanoma that mainly occurs on the face is lentigo maligna melanoma.

Though these are the most common types that occur, there might be other types of lesions that may become cancerous. There can also be cases of genetic mutation resulting in rare types of cutaneous melanoma. Any spreading pigmentation on the skin should immediately be examined.

Contact Our Office

If your skin is exhibiting changes that you are concerned about, it is important for you to speak with a qualified care provider for a diagnosis. Contact our office to speak with Dr, Jeffrey Wagner, a board-certified plastic surgeon, to find out if you have a case of melanoma before it is too late.