The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Patient information

Melanoma is a cancer that usually starts in the skin which looks like a mole or even in normal-looking skin. 

Patient information leaflets 

melanoma leaflet3

There are four main types of melanoma which include:

  • Superficial spreading melanoma  - more commonly found on the arms, legs, chest and back
  • Nodular melanoma - more commonly found on the chest, back, head or neck
  • Lentigo maligna melanoma - often found on the face and neck
  • Acral lentiginous melanoma - usually found on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or under fingernails or toenails

The following are common diagnostic procedures in helping to diagnose Melanoma:

  • biopsy of an affected area of skin
  • an ultrasound guided biopsy if a sample of tissue is required that is not skin
  • sentinel lymph node biopsy (that is a biopsy of the lymph node nearest to where abnormal tissue has been taken)
  • CT scan

The treatment for melanoma includes:

  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Drug therapy
  • Symptom management
  • or a combination of treatments

Symptoms to look out for include renewed symptoms or new, growing patches on the skin.

The Melanoma MDT aims to help and support all patients through and beyond treatment and to help manage any symptoms that cause problems.

The melanoma nurse specialist team is the best way to seek advice and can be contacted on 0113 2067708.

 Useful links 

British Association of Dermatology

GenoMeL

Melanoma UK - Melanoma UK is a patient support and advocacy group, dedicated to helping skin cancer patients during all stages (tel: 0808 1712455)

Macmillan Cancer Support - Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer. They  provide booklets on cancer and treatments and run helplines providing cancer information and benefits advice as well as an interactive online community forum. (Tel: 0808 808 0000)

Maggie's Centre - Maggie's have drop-in centres located around the country where they can offer practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families and friends. They also have the Maggie's Online Centre, where people can communicate and share experiences with other people who have been affected by cancer (Tel: 0300 123 1801 or email: enquries@maggiescentres.org)

Marie Curie - Marie Curie provide care and support for people living with any terminal illness, whilst also supporting carers and family members. Marie Curie also provide information on practical support which is available to view online or accessible through their helpline (Tel: 0800 090 2309)

Cancer Research UK - Cancer Research UK provide information online to view and download. They also have an online forum for patients and carers as well as a national helpline (Tel: 0808 800 4040)