Melanoma Types

Superficial Spreading Melanoma (SSM)

SSM image

Melanoma cells spread radially in the skin “like a spreading stain”. At least initially SSM remains superficial and therefore has a good prognosis.

Its characteristic signs are:

  • Irregular border
  • Differential pigmentation (spectrum of brown, black and pink)
  • Progressive central depigmentation
  • Usually flat and may be greater than 1cm in diameter at diagnosis.

If neglected, a portion of the SSM can develop a nodular component with an increasing Breslow thickness and deterioration in prognosis.

SSM nodular change