Get answers to your Melanoma questions.
Skin cancer; Squamous cell cancer; Basal cell cancer; Actinic keratosis; Nonmelanoma skin cancer
Skin cancer is cancer that starts in the skin. Skin cancers are divided into two major groups:
Different skin cancers start in different layers or cells of the skin. To understand how skin cancer develops, it is useful to know something about the skin.
The Skin. The skin is the largest organ in the body and consists of layers.
Melanocytes. A layer of cells between the epidermis and the dermis called melanocytes produces a brown-black skin pigment (melanin) that determines skin and hair color. Melanin also helps protect against the damaging rays of the sun.
As a person ages, melanocytes often spread (proliferate). They form clusters that appear on the skin surface as small, dark, flat, or dome-shaped spots, which are usually harmless moles or liver spots.
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