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A patient has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma. The patient asks the nurse about this type of skin cancer. The nurse provides information, knowing that which of the following is true:

Explanation

• Malignant melanomas are the least common type of skin cancer and often metastasize. They are the most deadly form. They appear black or brown with irregular borders. Risk factors include fair skin, history of sunburns, family history, and having many moles.

• Basal cell carcinomas are translucent, raised, and smooth. They are usually on sun-exposed skin and rarely metastasize or cause death. They are the most common type of skin cancer.

• Squamous cell carcinomas are red nodules with crust or ulceration. They are less common than basal cell carcinomas, characterized by local invasion, and metastasize infrequently.

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