What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a cancerous growth of the melanocyte cells in the skin – a common form of skin cancer. New Zealand and Australia have the highest incidence of melanoma in the world. Approximately 2,000 new cases a year of melanoma are diagnosed in New Zealand.

Melanoma can be an aggressive form of skin cancer with potential for metastatic spread throughout the body. It is imperative to diagnose and treat melanoma as early as possible.

Melanoma can develop at any age, but most commonly occurs between the ages of 45-65. In males, the most common places to develop melanoma are the chest and back, while in females the most common place is the legs.