Patient Information Leaflets (PILs)
These Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) are specially written by the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD).
The BAD has been awarded The Information Standard certification for the process it employs to develop information products aimed at the general public, which include PILs, Sun Awareness Campaign materials, and other information products.
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There are thousands of different skin complaints, therefore, the focus of the British Association of Dermatologists' PILs production is on the most common, rarest or debilitating skin conditions.
The offer to provide details of source materials used to inform the British Association of Dermatologists' PILs is for instances where the advice provided in the PILs does not reflect local practice and therefore evidence supporting said advice needs to be produced. It is not an offer to conduct literature searches or supply bibilographic materials for your own research.
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Melanoma - Stage 1A
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer, which arises from the pigment cells (melanocytes) in the skin. One of the main causes of melanoma is exposure to too much ultraviolet light in sunlight. The use of artificial sources of ultraviolet light, such as sunbeds, also increases the risk of getting a melanoma.
Melanocytes make a brown/black pigment (known as melanin), and often the first sign of a melanoma developing is a previous mole changing in colour or a new brown/black lesion developing on the skin. Most frequently there is darkening in colour but occasionally there is loss of pigmentation with pale areas or red areas developing. Occasionally melanomas have no pigment and appear just a pink/red colour. The development of this melanoma on the skin is known as the primary melanoma.
Melanoma is considered to be the most serious type of skin cancer. This is because it is more likely to spread (metastasise) from the skin to other parts of the body than other types of skin cancer. If melanoma has spread to other parts of the body, those deposits are known as secondary melanoma (secondaries/metastases). Although a diagnosis of melanoma can be serious, most melanomas are diagnosed at an early stage and so do not cause any further problem. If lesions are not removed caught at the early stages then there is a higher risk of the melanoma spreading, which can reduce life expectancy.