Pathology dictionary -
Melanoma is a cancer (a malignant tumour) made of special cells called melanocytes.
Melanocytes are normally present in our skin and they give our skin its colour or pigment. Melanocytes can be injured by overexposure to UV rays from the sun (severe sun burns) which in some people leads to the development of melanoma.
There are different types of melanoma and the behavior of the disease depends on a variety of factors including the size of the tumour, the pattern of growth, and the depth of invasion. All of these factors are examined by your pathologist and documented in the pathology report.
If you have been diagnosed with melanoma, your pathology report provides critical information which will allow your doctor to predict the behavior of the cancer and select the most appropriate treatment.
Click here to learn more about the diagnosis of melanoma in the skin.