In addition, primary skin tumors such as melanoma have a predilection to spread to the liver.
Although the term "melanoma" is heard frequently on medical TV shows, the most common type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma, affecting over a million people a year in the States alone.
According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma accounts for only 4 percent of all skin cancer, but 79 percent of skin cancer deaths, or about 7,900 deaths annually in the United States.
Malignant melanoma-The most serious of the three types of skin cancer, malignant melanoma arises from the melanocytes, the skin cells that produce the pigment melanin.
Dr. Leffell: It has been suggested that a single blistering sunburn in childhood increases the chance of melanoma later in life [as cited at the Mayo Clinic website].
Most moles are benign (not cancerous), but atypical moles (dysplastic nevi) may develop into malignant melanoma, a potentially fatal form of skin cancer.
Frequently, the damage takes decades to manifest itself as a melanoma, which is why it's so important to protect your skin, especially in the summer.
Avoiding sunburn: Besides being painful, sunburns are associated with an increased risk for melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.
Individuals at highest risk for developing melanoma are those who have intermittent severe (blistering) sunburns in youth or adolescence.
Not every suspicious pimple or mole ends up being a malignant melanoma, and no physician will criticize you acting on the cautious side.