Melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, develops from melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin - the pigment that gives your skin and hair their color. With early diagnosis and treatment, the chances of recovery are very good. If it is not found early, melanoma can grow deeper into the skin and spread to other parts of the body. Once melanoma has spread to other parts of the body beyond the skin, it is difficult to treat.
When giving yourself a skin examination, you should look for the A-B-C-D-E's of melanoma. Moles or growths that are Asymmetrical, have an irregular Border, exhibit changes in Color, have a Diameter larger than the size of a pencil eraser (approximately 6 mm), or have Evolved in size or thickness should be examined by a dermatologist. To identify the less concerning basal and squamous cell carcinomas, you should report to your doctor any pink spots that persist, recur in the same place over time, or are easily irritated.