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What is Melanoma?
Risk Factors
How to Prevent
How to Detect
How to Cure
Now I know. So now I do.
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The Melanoma Research Fund
Miles Over Melanoma 2012
Miles Over Melanoma
Strike Out Skin Cancer
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Our M.O.M. Inc.
KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE

  • The 7th Annual Miles Over Melanoma was a huge success! Thanks for your continued support as we fight this deadly form of skin cancer. Remember: prevention and detection will save your life!
  • Our M.O.M., Inc. is the winner of the 2012 Exceptional Donor Award from the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital. This honor would not be possible without our supporters. Thank you for continuing the fight against this terrible disease.

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer. The skin is the largest organ in the body and protects all other organs inside the body. The skin prevents the loss of fluids and also sends messages to the brain about heat, cold, touch, and pain. It is imperative that you protect the largest organ in your body.

Your skin has cells called melanocytes, the cells that make melanin, which gives skin its color. Melanin protects the deeper layers of the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Your skin is exposed to these harmful rays in sunlight as well as tanning booths. The UV rays cause the melanocytes to produce more melanin, which causes the skin to tan. When your skin receives too much UV light, these cells grow abnormally and become cancerous. This is melanoma. Melanomas can be brown, black, or colorless.

Melanoma can be curable when it is caught early, but it is likely to spread to other parts of the body. This is called metastatic melanoma, and there is no cure. A cancer metastasizes when it moves from its place of origin to other parts of the body. One of the first signs is a change in the color, shape, or size of a pre-existing mole. However, melanoma can also appear as a new mole.

Although melanomas can occur anywhere on the body, they frequently show up in certain places on men and women. In men, melanoma most often shows up on the upper body, between the shoulders and hips, or on the head and neck. For women, melanoma most often appears on the lower legs. However, melanoma can appear ANYWHERE, so it is imperative to check all areas of your skin.