This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Cases of malignant melanoma

Written by: | Published:

Superficial spreading malignant melanoma
Suspicion of a possible malignant melanoma requires urgent referral to local screening services, usually run by a dermatologist, within two weeks.

Malignant melanoma is the most common cancer in the UK and accounts for 4 per cent of all new cases in both men and women. Incidence trends have been rising sharply since the year 2000. As the most serious cutaneous cancer, early recognition and treatment are essential if good results are to be obtained.

Those at greatest risk of developing malignant melanoma are the blue-eyed and fair-skinned people who readily burn on exposure to ultraviolet light and the sun. The risk is greater for those with a previous or family history of malignant melanoma, those with multiple 'benign moles' or with a giant hairy pigmented naevus.

Such patients should be warned to watch for change in existing moles or the development of new ones, after the age of puberty. Comparisons may be helped by photographs of existing lesions or mole mapping at the dermatology clinic.

Malignant melanoma
These first two pictures (above and right) provide a good idea of the features to note when identifying malignant melanoma. You will note that the lesion above has an asymmetric, irregular outline and patchy colour, and this lesion to the right features varying colours within it.

Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.