Metastatic Cancer: Melanoma
- Melanoma is a type of cancer which involves uncontrolled growth of melanocytes.
- Cancerous changes occur when there is DNA damage in melanocytes that results in a dysfunction of anti-tumour and/or pro-growth genes.
- Melanocytes grow rapidly in a disorganized fashion, and have different levels of differentiation and cell sizes. Melanocytes can make a lot of melanin, thus providing visual clues to tumour development.
- When cancerous melanocytes invade the basement membrane and circulate in either the blood or lymph, this is metastatic melanoma. The brain, liver, and lungs are common – but not the only – sites of metastases.
- The most effective treatment to melanoma is for recognition of melanoma at an early stage recognition. The mnemonic ABCDE will help you identify suspicious moles that can develop into melanoma.
- PREVENTION is the most effective treatment to melanoma. So recall your sun safety tips!
- Health care professional team work together to help diagnose and treat metastatic melanoma.
Authors: Lyz Boyd (UBC Medical student), Helen Dyck (UBC) & Dr. Jennifer Kong (BCIT & UBC)
Gross anatomy & histology videos: Lyz Boyd (UBC medical student)
Medical Laboratory Technology interview: Marion Regan (BCIT – School of Health Sciences)
Videoproduction & editing: Dr. Jennifer Kong (BCIT & UBC) and Yimei Qin (UBC undergraduate student)
Editing: Eva Su (UBC Undergraduate student)