Support Research, Education and Advocacy for Mucosal Melanoma

The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is dedicated to funding mucosal melanoma research, educating recently diagnosed patients, providing support services to patients and caregivers and advocating on behalf of the mucosal melanoma community.

 Recently, the mucosal community raised over $15,000 to produce an educational video for mucosal patients, caregivers and the broader medical community. We are grateful for the generosity of the mucosal melanoma community and couldn’t have provided this resource without their support. If you wish to support the MRF’s mucosal melanoma program, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.  

All donations are 100% tax-deductible

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Facts about Mucosal Melanoma

  • Mucosal melanoma is a rare and aggressive form of melanoma—making up only about 1% of melanoma cases.
  • As with other areas of the skin, melanocytes, the pigment producing cells of the body, are also present in the mucosal surfaces of the body, lining the sinuses, nasal passages, oral cavity, vagina, anus and other areas. Just like melanocytes in other parts of the body, these can transform into cancerous cells, resulting in mucosal melanoma.
  • Approximately 50% of mucosal melanomas begin in the head and neck region, 25% begin in the ano-rectal region and 20% begin in the female genital tract. The remaining 5% include the esophagus, gallbladder, bowel, conjunctiva and urethra.
  • Mucosal melanoma is not considered to be related to or affected by UV exposure.
  • There are no obvious identified risk factors, not even family history.
  • Lacking an identifiable culprit and given its rare occurrence, most cases of mucosal melanoma are aggressive and quite advanced once identified, often resulting in poor patient outcomes.