NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma - page 10

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Melanoma
Version 1.2013
Part 1: About melanoma
1.4 Types of melanoma
There are four major types of melanoma skin cancer.
The unique features of each can often help you tell them
apart. These features include color, shape, location, and
growth pattern.
Superficial spreading melanoma
Superficial spreading melanoma is the most common
type of melanoma. It usually looks like a brown-black
stain that is spreading from a mole (Figure 5). This
type of melanoma normally occurs on skin exposed to
Nodular melanoma
Nodular melanoma may grow more quickly into the
dermis than other types of melanoma. Once in the
dermis, it can spread to other tissue. It looks like a dome-
shaped bump and feels firm.
Lentigo maligna melanoma
Lentigo maligna melanoma is the slowest growing type
of melanoma. It isn’t associated with moles. It looks like
a dark stain with an uneven border. Sometimes, lentigo
maligna melanoma is mistaken for a sunspot. This type
of melanoma often occurs on the face or arms of older
Acral lentiginous melanoma
Acral lentiginous melanoma is the least common type of
melanoma overall. However, it is the most common type
of melanoma in Asians and people with darker-colored
skin such as African Americans. This type of melanoma
occurs on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet,
including fingernails and toenails. It can appear as a dark
spot, like a bruise that doesn’t go away. In a nail, it can
look like a dark stripe.
Figure 5. Superficial spreading melanoma
Melanoma courtesy of the National Cancer Institute available at:
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