Melanoma is a type of skin cancer originating in cells called melanocytes. Though early stages may be removed with surgery, melanoma is known for growing downward into the skin and into the lymph nodes which allows it to metastasize to other areas. Melanoma is 20 times more common in Caucasians than African-Americans, and sun exposure is a major risk factor. Fortunately, because this cancer is visible on the skin, self-examinations can be performed and are often the best way to catch this cancer early. During self-examination, one should look for discolorations or moles that have recently appeared, especially ones with irregular borders and different shades of pigmentation. If suspicious spots are found, individuals should keep a close watch and contact a Dermatologist if any changes are noticed.