Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that attacks the skin's pigment, which is called melanin. It is most commonly found in areas of the skin regularly exposed to the sun, but may also develop in the eyes, internal organs, and intestines.
Symptoms of melanoma include the appearance of a new, abnormal-looking mole, or a change in the shape and color of an existing mole. Signs to watch for in moles are irregular shapes, multiple colors, or an uneven distribution of color.
It is usually caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation, for example, tanning beds, lamps, and sunlight. Other risk factors include: being female and over 40, paler skin, and family history of melanoma.
Melanoma is usually diagnosed with a biopsy and treatment includes surgical options, such as removal of affected areas. Medication in the form of chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also be part of melanoma treatment.
Drug classes often used to treat melanoma include protein kinase inhibitors, interferon alphas, antineoplastic monoclonal antibodies, and PD inhibitors.