Cancer is a general term for the nearly 200 diseases that begin with an uncontrolled growth of cells that can invade and damage normal tissues.
Each type of cancer is named for the cell of origin and in most cases, these cancer cells continue to contain certain characteristics that allow identification by that same point-of-origin. Just as there are many different types of cancer, researchers are discovering that there are also many different types of melanoma, each with its own unique biology and response to treatment options.
Skin cancers can be divided into two types: melanoma and non-melanoma. Non-melanoma skin cancers are usually referred to as basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. These skin cancers are most often treated with surgery since they do not normally spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma Is A Type of Skin Cancer
Melanoma is the most serious cancer of the skin. It begins in melanocytes, the cells that produce the pigment melanin that colors the skin, hair, and eyes, as well as forms moles. Since most of these pigment cells are found in the skin, melanoma of the skin (cutaneous melanoma) is the most common form of melanoma.
Unlike other cancers, melanoma can often be seen on the skin, making it easier to detect in the early stages. However, melanoma can also develop in the eye, digestive tract, brain or spinal cord, or other areas where melanocytes are found. These types of melanoma are often very dangerous because they are more difficult to detect.
Melanoma can develop from a mole, which can be a risk factor for melanoma, but most moles do not come melanoma. However, melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer due to its tendency to spread to lymph nodes and other areas of the body, as compared to the other types of skin cancer (basal and squamous cell carcinoma).
When melanoma spreads, it can spread to almost any other organ in the body but most commonly spreads to the liver, lungs, bones, and brain.
Wings of Hope San Francisco Date of Event: Wed, 2011-05-04
Join us Wednesday, May 4th for the third annual San Francisco Wings of Hope gala! This year's event will be held in the beautiful Bently Reserve, from 6:00 to 10:00 PM, and will feature a silent and live auction, and delicious samplings from a variety of elite restaurants and spirit companies.