There is no such thing as routine melanoma. Every patient’s melanoma is different, with different, individually unique genes and molecules driving each person’s specific cancer.

At the OSUCCC – James, our melanoma specialists are world-renowned cancer experts who focus solely on melanoma and who reach across medical disciplines (urologists, oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pharmacists and more) to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s specific cancer.

And by offering access to the country’s most advanced clinical trials right here at the OSUCCC – James, patients know that additional options, when needed, are often available for their treatment and care.

Facts About Melanoma

Melanocytes cells are located in the lower part of the outer layer of skin, called the epidermis. Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body but tends to affect men more often on the trunk (the area from the shoulders to the hips) and women on the legs. Melanoma occurs in adults more than children and adolescents.

Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer, with more than 76,000 cases diagnosed each year in the United States.

Melanoma Epidermal Anatomy

Types of Melanoma

Melanoma types are classified depending on where the skin cancer occurs and based on careful analysis of subtypes of cells involved in the cancer. The main types of melanoma are:

  • Cutaneous melanoma, which develops in skin cells
  • Mucous membrane melanoma, which develops in the moist, thin layers that cover organs and cavities, such as the lips
  • Ocular melanoma

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Melanoma Symptoms

Signs of melanoma include a change in the appearance of a mole or pigmented area.

These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by melanoma or by other conditions. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • A mole that:
    • Changes in size, shape or color
    • Has irregular edges or borders
    • Is more than one color
    • Is asymmetrical (if the mole is divided in half, the two halves are different in size or shape)
    • Itches
    • Oozes, bleeds or is ulcerated (a hole forms in the skin when the top layer of cells breaks down and the tissue below shows through)
  • A change in pigmented (colored) skin
  • Satellite moles (new moles that grow near an existing mole)

Other conditions may cause the same symptoms as melanoma. Check with your doctor if you have any of these problems.

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have melanoma. But if you have symptoms, you should tell your doctor, especially if symptoms have continued for longer than a few weeks.


If you have received a melanoma diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a melanoma specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 W. 10th Ave.

Columbus, Ohio 43210


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