Aideen M. Tarpey, BSc (Hons), RN, CertHealthEd.Nurse Adviser, NHS Direct, Winchester, HampshireMalignant melanoma is a tumour of the melanocytes (Gawkrodger, 1999). There are two main groups of skin cancer: malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer (basal and squamous cell carcinoma). Malignant melanoma is the rarest but also the most serious type. It affects the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) and can appear as a new mole or changes to an existing mole.
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