Melanoma is a type of cancer that begins in a certain type of skin cell, melanocytes, that make the pigment melanin in the skin. Melanomas can occur anywhere on the skin, but they are most likely to start on the chest and back in men and on the legs in women. Melanomas also occur frequently on the neck and face. While less likely, melanomas may form in other parts of the body that produce these cells, such as the eyes and mouth. Risk factors include family history of melanoma, blistering sunburns at any time of life, having several moles, and fair skin that doesn't tan and tends to sunburn or freckle. Early detection is important.
UAB Medicine Dermatology is one of the top such programs in the nation for the management of complicated skin disorders. In fact, it is one of only six Skin Diseases Research Centers in the United States as designated and funded by the National Institutes of Health. This interdisciplinary center of excellence in investigative dermatology and cutaneous biology is a rare resource in the Southeast. As part of the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB, we manage thousands of skin cancer cases each year, treating melanoma, high-risk basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and other rare skin tumors.
UAB Medicine provides the most advanced services and facilities for the care of skin cancer. Our dermatopathologists offer specialized care in both dermatology and pathology, diagnosing a variety of diseases of the skin, hair, and nails. We offer Mohs Micrographic Surgery, which minimizes unsightly treatment damage by targeting only the abnormal tissue of a skin lesion. In addition, our dermatological research program is one of the nation’s largest and most reputable, and it allows many patients to participate in clinical trials and receive treatments not available at most other medical centers.
The O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center located in a four-state area that includes Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. The center is home to an outstanding faculty of more than 350 physicians and researchers, many of whom are nationally and internationally recognized for their oncology expertise.
From bench to bedside, the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center is at the forefront of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and researchers have pioneered advances in chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and nutrition. With its multidisciplinary teams and state-of-the-art technology, the center provides ongoing care to more than 20,000 cancer patients each year.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for melanoma. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials