Are All Melanomas Dangerous?

Melanoma is a cancer of the pigment-producing cells of the body, called melanocytes.  It is a relatively common malignancy; 1/54 Canadian men and 1/74 women are expected to develop melanoma in their lifetimes.  So it is unfortunately all too often that I find myself in the position of telling a patient of mine that they have been diagnosed with melanoma.  Understandably, most people are shocked and terribly upset by this news.  They've read that melanomas are the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and indeed they are.  What I think is not as well represented in the media is that the vast majority of melanomas are not fatal.  In fact, most carry an excellent prognosis.

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