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Superficial spreading melanoma - most common melanoma

Also known as SSM, superficial spreading melanoma accounts for about 65% to 70% of all the melanomas diagnosed.


It is the most common form of cancer among Caucasians and is the leading cause of cancer among young adults. It also usually appears on middle age people in their 40’s and 50’s …mostly in women, whether middle age or young adults.

SSM occurs in the upper layer of the skin and grows from months to years before spreading to other internal body parts (metastasis).

It’s highly important to detect SSM in the early stages before spreading internally.

SSM is more frequently cured in the early stage.



 Causes of melanoma - SSM

· Sun overexposure – especially in adolescence is a leading cause.   Read more

· A weak immune system – an unhealthy lifestyle, organ transplants and certain medications makes you more susceptible to SSM. Build immune system

· Family history – a close relative …parent, sibling make you more at risk.  Read more

· Number of moles – it stands to reason, people with many moles (some say 100 or more) have more risk of developing SSM. No need to count, but be aware and watching for any changes or suspicious moles.  Read about mole cancers

· Sex – a fact is that more women than men are likely to develop SSM

· Xeroderma pigmentosum – this is a rare, heredity skin disease that effects the ability of the body to repair sun damaged skin. This may lead to the development of SSM



Dysplastic nevus

Dysplastic nevus is another word for an Atypical Mole, in other words it is different in appearance from a common, normal looking mole.

Most often they are larger than the ordinary moles.

They have irregular borders and may range in color from light pink to dark brown.

They usually are flat, but areas may start to elevate above the surface of the skin.

They are most common on the trunk of men and on the calves of women.

Dysplastic Nevus may develop into superficial melanoma or other types of melanoma.

None of this is life threatening, if detected in the early Stages and given prompt treatment.



SSM occurs in two phases

1. Radial phase – the lesion grows on the surface of the skin (horizontal) and is thin. It can remain in this phase for months or years. In this phase, it is the least life-threatening.

2. Vertical growth phase – the lesion appears deep in the surface of the skin (vertical). In this phase it has the ability to spread to surrounding tissue and inward. This makes it more life-threatening.




 Superficial spreading melanoma pictures


These pictures are not the only way SSM may appear.






If Melanoma were to always and only appear exactly the same on everyone it would be easy to detect.

But it doesn't and it may be hard to detect.

That is why you should see a dermatologist right away when you see any new suspicious growth or change.

Be looking ....and utilize the Five Signs of Skin Cancer.

You may be glad you did!



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Links related to Superficial Spreading Melanoma:

Malignant Melanoma
Nodular Melanoma
Amelanotic Melanoma
Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans
Sebaceous Gland Carcinoma
Kaposi Sarcoma
Merkel Cell Cancer
Squamous Cell Skin Cancer
Basal Cell Carcinoma


Go from Superficial Spreading Melanoma to Types of Skin Cancer

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10 Most Frequented Skin Cancer Links

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Sebaceous Gland Carcinoma
Our Cancer Stories are so Similar Mine and Gary's -by Valerie
Skin Cancer Warning Signs
Five Signs of Skin Cancer
Mole Cancers
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Amelanotic Melanoma
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Squamous Cell Cancer - My Personal Story
Updated August 1, 2014



"MELANOMA : “NO BIG DEAL ” IT'S JUST SKIN CANCER!

Hi! My name is Nick and I’m 56 yrs. old and this is part of my story. Let me tell you, I was like a lot of people out there and I had no idea that skin cancer was anything bad. I had Basal cell back in 2007, but that was no big deal and it was removed and that was the end of that. No one told me that it was a type of skin cancer (I looked it up on my computer). But still no big deal, it would not kill me.
But I did know the word "Melanoma"....." --by Nick

Read more of Nick's Story

Scared to Death!!! - by Shelly

Our Cancer Stories are so similar, mine and Gary's! - by Valerie  



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Bottom Line
The Weather Channel has done well posting these melanoma images of what melanoma skin cancer looks like. Melanoma is only one type of skin cancer, but by far the most deadly.
The pictures of melanoma show a difference in how melanoma may present itself.
Although some appear similar, none are exactly alike. You may have something similar on your skin that may turn out to be benign (non-cancerous). It’s really hard to be certain.
This brings me quickly to the bottom line, and that is to get an expert's opinion about any suspicious mole or lesion on your skin. If unsure about the expert’s opinion, get a second opinion or request a biopsy. It could be another type of skin cancer, nevertheless don’t hesitate, as it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t put your very life at risk!