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Hi, I'm 30 years old and recently I had a mole on my neck that was very painful. The mole was brownish and had lighter and darker spots on it. Since it was painful and it caused me discomfort I went to the doctor and had it removed by a plastic surgeon. My doctor said that it was probably nothing serious but that they will do a standard pathological tests to rule out the possibility of melenoma. Can you tell me what exactly is melenoma and is it dangerous?

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Melenoma is a form of malicious cancer that develops from the skin cells known as melanocytes. Sometimes in medical practice it is also referred to as malign melenoma emphasizing the word malign, although it is not necessary, all melenomas are malign. You probably had a so called “benign” melenoma (there is actually no such thing but I'm going to use this as a comparison) or a naevus, or in English a common mole. Moles are actually changed skin tissue that is filled with melanocytes and they are not dangerous but often as a result of irritation or some kind of a radiation (most commonly exposure to sun) they become malign, and then melenoma develops from these moles. Any kind of change in color, shape and size of any of your moles should be immediately reported to your doctor and if that kind of a change occurs moles are usually surgically removed. The fact that your mole started hurting and that it had changed its color doesn’t mean that it is melenoma. That’s why the pathological testing is done to determine the nature of the change, if it turns out to be melenoma, unfortunately there is no cure for it. You should wait for the results of the PH test and hope for the best.
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hi im meli,im in high skool and i am learning about skin cancer caused by the sun, i need to know the real affects and cause!!can you please help me!! :-D
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Community Administrator
464 posts
Hello Meli!
Welcome to the steadyhealth community. Thank you for posting your question here!
However, you entered a field with "What is Melenoma" as a subject, and your topic is skin cancer caused by sun. We try not to mix topics here, so I would kindly ask you to create a new topic in Cancer forum with a subject "Skin cancer caused by sun" .

Thank you in advance
Billy
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Hi Meli, I have some info for you but Billy is right you know, if you want people to find your post easier, you should make a new topic. Anyway, you got lucky with me! :-)
The sun's ultraviolet) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When elastin breaks down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into previous position. The skin also bruises, tears more easily and it takes longer to heal. Exposure to the sun causes pre-cancerous and cancerous skin lesions that are made by loss of the skin's immune function, benign tumors, fine and coarse wrinkles, freckles, discolored areas of the skin, sallowness, telangiectasias ( the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin ) and elastosis ( the destruction of the elastic tissue causing lines and wrinkles ). Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells.This rapid growth results in tumors, which are either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the number one cause of skin cancer, but UV light from tanning beds is just as harmful. Cumulative sun exposure causes mainly basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer, while episodes of severe sunburns, usually before age 18, can cause melanoma later in life. The risk of skin cancer is greatest for people who have fair or freckled skin that burns easily, light eyes and blond or red hair. Less common causes are repeated X-ray exposure and occupational exposure to certain chemicals. Other risk factors include having a family history or personal history of skin cancer, having an outdoor job and living in a sunny climate. A history of severe sunburns and an abundance of large and irregularly-shaped moles are risk factors unique to melanoma.
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