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Melanoma skin cancer


Open all pages about Melanoma skin cancer

Melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer that can spread to other areas of the body.

The main sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or an existing mole that changes size, shape or colour, or bleeds or itches.

Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or sunbeds is the main cause of melanoma. Getting sunburn a lot increases your chances of getting melanoma.

Things you can do to lower your chance of getting melanoma include not staying in the sun too long, wearing a hat and sunglasses and using sunscreen.

Melanoma can be diagnosed by cutting out a section of affected skin and checking it for cancer. This is called an excision biopsy.

Surgery is the main treatment for melanoma skin cancer. Radiotherapy, medicines and chemotherapy are also sometimes used.

If you have melanoma skin cancer, you can get support from your specialist team and charities like the Melanoma UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Page last reviewed: 06/03/2023
Next review due: 06/03/2026