Malignant melanoma is a form of cancer arising from the melanocytes in the skin and is the least common but most dangerous type of skin cancer. Melanoma occurs on exposed skin and also on skin that is generally covered but which has been sunburnt in the past. May develop from an existing mole or appear as a new brown, red or black spot which changes and grows in size.

Melanomas usually grow rapidly, from a lump, mole or mark on the skin that enlarges horizontally as a flat stain on the skin and as it spreads, will grow upwards within months and form an easily-felt lump. As the melanoma grows it usually becomes darker and sometimes almost black. Rarely does it becomes pale pink as it grows. Melanomas tend to bleed often after some negligible injury such as rubbing with clothing or a towel. Itching is the final clue to melanoma, a mild itchiness, usually around the exterior of the mole and more importantly repetitive.

Large moles often 6-10mm or more in diameter which have a haphazard mixture of colour, usually various shades of brown and an irregular border are more likely to turn into melanoma. They are sometimes inherited and know as a dysplastic naevi, which means under the microscope there is evidence of abnormal cellular growth. It is important to watch these moles for any changes.

Melanoma's if left untreated can spread throughout the body and can cause death. Melanoma's require surgical excision and should not be burnt or frozen.

Halo Naevus
Blue Naevus
Superficial spreading melanoma
Congenital Melanoma
Lentigo maligna melanoma
Superficial spreading melanoma

Skin Cancer Surgery

Dr Rhonda A Harvey

Dr Harvey graduated with honours in medicine from the University of New South Wales in 1999. As part of her post graduate training,

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Dr Tasman Lipscombe

Dr Tasman Lipscombe graduated medicine in 1990 with an MBBS from Adelaide University. After 3 years of hospital rotations as an intern and a general resident, he commenced Dermatology training. This…

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Dr Saleem Loghdey

Dr Saleem Loghdey is a Dermatologist who moved to Australia from the UK in 2013.  He grew up in South Africa where he did his undergraduate medical training at the University of Cape Town…

A/Prof Rob Paver

A/Prof. Rob Paver is a Dermatologist and Mohs Surgeon at The Skin Hospital at Westmead.

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