NetWellness is a global, community service providing quality, unbiased health information from our partner university faculty. NetWellness is commercial-free and does not accept advertising.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Why is melanoma so often called malignant melanoma? There is no kind of melanoma other than malignant. We don`t hear of malignant leukemia or malignant breast cancer. Why malignant melanoma?
A melanoma is technically any benign or malignant tumor which contains cells producing the pigment melanin. A benign melanoma is better known today as a mole. Because of the fear associated with a malignant melanoma, health professionals over the years stopped referring to simple moles as melanomas. Now "melanoma" is often used interchangeably for "malignant melanoma".
Judith A Westman, MD
Associate Professor, Clinical Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Medical Biochemistry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University