Melanoma is a less common but potentially dangerous form of skin cancer. It starts in color-producing cells called melanocytes in deeper layers of the epidermis, the outer part of the skin. These cells begin to grow abnormally and form a tumor. Most of these tumors appear on the backs of men and legs of women, but melanomas can form anywhere along the skin, including the head and neck, under the fingernails or even on the genitals. These tumors are most often linked to ultraviolet (UV) light exposure from the sun. Learn more about the different types and stages of melanoma here.
Screening and Treatment
Early diagnosis is one of the most important factors in successfully treating melanoma. It is typically detected when change in a mole or a new, unusual growth is found on the skin. When found early, melanoma can often be cured with surgery. In its more advanced stages, melanoma can grow deep into the skin, called invasive melanoma. It can also affect lymph nodes and blood vessels and spread to distant parts of the body.
Through a close partnership with Boston-based hospitals and the National Cancer Institute, we are able to offer cancer clinical trials designed to identify safer and more effective approaches to prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It is important to know that when taking part in a clinical trial, you will continue to receive the highest quality care for your cancer. Learn more about the current clinical trials available here
Resources and Education
The Cancer Center at Lowell General Hospital is committed to supporting your mental and physical health through every step of diagnosis, treatment and recovery. From dedicated physicians and nurses to social workers and support groups, the Cancer Center at Lowell General Hospital has several resources for you and your family, all close to home. Learn more about our resources to support your care here