Melanoma, also known as malignant melanoma, refers to a type of cancer that emanates from the melanocytes. Melanocytes are the pigment-containing cells. While melanomas occur mostly in the skin, there are rare instances where they would also affect the mouth, eyes as well as the intestines.
This condition mainly attacks the legs in women and the backs in men. Usually, melanomas develop from a mole which often goes to increase in size and irregular edges as well as changes in color, itchiness and then skin breakdown. Like is the case with many types of cancer, the primary cause of this condition is exposure to ultraviolet light coupled with low levels of skin pigmentation. However, there are a host of other causes as we shall discover later in the article.
Of all the known types of cancer, Melanoma is the most dangerous. Statistics indicate this cancer occurred in some 232000 individuals in the year 2012 globally and resulted in 55000 deaths from these cases.
For some reasons, the prevalence is high in Australia and New Zealand. Europe and North America also register fairly high cases with the least prevalence of the disease in Asia, Latin America and Africa. The condition is more common in men than it is in women and it has been common from the 19602, especially in the areas mostly Caucasian.