Melanoma: The Deadliest Form of Skin Cancer Image

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer. Like other skin cancers (squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma), melanoma can be treated easily if the tumor is caught in its early stages. If not, the cancer cells can spread to the lymph nodes and other organs, after which melanoma is much more difficult to treat. Left untreated, melanoma can be deadly.

Every year, some 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma, and more than 7,500 die of the cancer. Overall rates for melanoma are on the rise, although education about the risks of sun exposure is being credited for the sharp decrease among younger adults ages 21 to 45.

The current US incidence of this type of skin cancer has increased by fifty percent since 1970.

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