Melanoma and skin cancer

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer which develops when cells called melanocytes grow more quickly than usual. If you are diagnosed with melanoma, we provide the highest level of personalised treatment and care

Types of melanoma

Superficial spreading melanoma

The most common type of melanoma. It tends to start growing outwards rather than downwards into the skin.

Nodular melanoma

Tends to grow downwards, deeper into the skin. This can happen quite quickly if it isn’t removed. It is often a very dark brownish-black, or black.

Letigo meligna melanoma

Most common in elderly people. They appear on areas of the skin that are often exposed to the sun, such as the face.

Acral lentiginous melanoma

Usually found on the palms of hands and soles of the feet or around the big toenail. It can also grow under the nails.

Amelanotic melanoma

Amelanotic means without melanin. Melanomas tend to be dark, but amelanotic melanoma usually has no colour or very little colour. This type of melanoma is rare.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of melanoma icon plus

    It can be difficult to spot unusual changes to existing moles or changes to normal skin. The ABCDE checklist helps identify things to look out for:

    • A – Asymmetry - Abnormally shaped moles
    • B – Border - Blurred borders or jagged edges
    • C – Colour – A mole with more than one colour
    • D – Diameter – A mole 7mm or larger in width
    • E – Evolving – Changes to the size and shape of a mole

    Other symptoms include:

    • Bleeding, scabbing and/or crusting of the surface of the mole
    • An itching or tingling sensation
    • A pigmented line in a nail or a growth beneath a nail

    If you experience any of these symptoms it is important to see your GP so that a referral and diagnosis can be made as quickly as possible.

  • Diagnosis icon plus

    It is important to see a doctor as soon as you notice any changes in a mole or area of your skin so that a diagnosis can be made quickly. Your consultant will discuss any changes to moles and your skin with you in detail and explain any necessary tests with you including:

    • Dermoscopy – using a dermatoscope to have a closer look at any abnormal moles
    • Biopsy – removing the affected mole to see if it is a melanoma. This is called an excision biopsy.

    If you are diagnosed with melanoma you will have immediate access to world-class cancer specialists and state-of-the-art facilities.

  • Treatment options icon plus

    If you are diagnosed with confirmed melanoma your consultant will discuss your diagnosis and treatment options with you in detail.

    At HCA UK you will be looked after by a multidisciplinary team (MDT), including expert consultants, Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) and supportive therapists including psychologists who can help with your emotional wellbeing.

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Contact our experienced cancer team

Any questions about our cancer services or treatment? We're happy to advise you or help you book an appointment with a cancer specialist consultant.

Call us on 

020 3553 9477
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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