DD, Aged 17

    When people would talk they didn't know what to say which was understandable.  more...


    Mimi - 15 years old

    I lost myself doing stupid things, angry and sad and depressed at everything. I ended up failing my classes, not caring about school, and getting into fights.  more...


    Chelsea - 14 years old

    I stuck my head round the door in the room mum was in, and she looked really ill. I couldn't understand what was happening - one minute my mum was fine and the next she was ill.  more...


    Clair - aged 14

    Something I wish is I could just have one more day with my dad! - to tell him how much I love him and how sorry I am for all the bad things I have said and done to him!  more...


    Nicole - 17 years old

    This time the doctors are unable to operate. He has already had 6 sessions of chemo and is having another 6 sessions. I cannot help feeling I may lose him.  more...


    Rirrif - 15 years old

    I have been staying with my dad because my mom doesn't want me around when she is sick, which is all the time. My dad works at night so I spend a lot of time alone since I'm not with my mom. I'm afraid she is going to die and I'll blame myself for not being there more. more...


    HT - 13 years old

    She has been so strong about this and is keen to put it all behind her.  more...


Melanoma (often called malignant melanoma) is a type of skin cancer. The skin is made up of two layers, the outer layer which is called epidermis and an inner layer called dermis. Between these two skin layers are some cells called melanocytes that make a pigment or colouring for the skin. When the ultraviolet light of the sun hit our skin, the melanocyte cells make more pigment as this pigment is what helps to protect our body from the ultraviolet light. It is the pigment that gives us a sun tan so the more we expose our bodies to the sun (or other ultraviolet light such as sunbeds), the more pigment is made and our body becomes more tanned. Although this pigment is made in order to protect our bodies from the ultraviolet light of the sun, the melanocyte cells that create this pigment can become cancerous and this is what happens in melanoma. There are various risk factors for developing melanoma but research has shown that over exposure to the sun and getting sunburnt definitely increases the risk of melanoma. Remember that the ultraviolet light does not only come from the sun - the ultraviolet light used in sunbeds (called UVA) can cause all types of skin cancer and using sunbeds also increases your risk of melanoma. There are different types of melanoma and please see below if you want to find out more.

To help you find reliable information, we have linked to Maggie’s CancerLinks where you will be signposted to high quality information about the type of skin cancer called Melanoma.

Remember that the information on these sites is general. Within each cancer type, there are different variations, different stages, different treatments and people may also respond differently to the same treatments. Each person is an individual and because of this, generic information may not fit the situation you are thinking of. Often your parents or someone else who knows the details can answer your questions best. Also, please feel free to get in touch with us here at riprap. We can help you sorting through information or discuss things you’ve heard or read or anything at all that’s on your mind.

Don’t forget that there are lots of effective treatments for cancer these days and many cancers can be completely cured. There are also very good treatments to control cancers that cannot be cured and research is going on all the time to find new treatments that can control and cure cancers.

Page updated 13 July 2017