Bob Marley Died From What Type of Cancer?

January 3, 2018
Bob Marley Died From What Type of Cancer? - Soma Technology, Inc.

Bob Marley Died From What Type of Cancer? - Soma Technology, Inc.

What Type of Cancer Did Bob Marley Die From?

In May of 1981, the music world lost a legend when Reggae artist Bob Marley died after a four-year battle with melanoma skin cancer. It may seem strange because melanoma is usually associated with fair skin and exposure to UV radiation from the sun. Marley was diagnosed with a rare fast-growing type of cancer known as Acral Melanoma which isn’t strongly linked to UV Exposure. Acral Melanoma most often affects your palms, soles of your feet, nail-beds, and other hairless parts of the skin.  This rare type of melanoma is genetically distinct from other, more common types of skin cancer. A team from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at the University of Manchester conducted a study that revealed how the DNA damage found in Acral Melanoma is very different from other types of skin cancer. They found that it was much more common to find large chunks of DNA that had broken off and reattached elsewhere as opposed to the small DNA mutations found in more common types of skin cancer.

Types of Melanoma Skin Cancer

Superficial Spreading Melanoma

This is the most common type of melanoma. It is most often found in middle-aged people. Superficial Spreading Melanoma tends to start growing outwards rather than downwards into the skin. It’s not usually at risk of spreading to other parts of the body until it begins to grow downwards into the deeper layers of the skin.

Nodular Melanoma

Nodular Melanoma is most often found in middle-aged people and on parts of the body only exposed to the sun. It is commonly found on the back or chest of the body. It tends to grow downwards, deeper into the skin. Nodular Melanoma grows quickly if not removed. There is often a raised area on the surface of the skin with this type of skin cancer.

Lentigo Maligna Melanoma

Lentigo Maligna Melanoma is most commonly found on the face of elderly people who have spent a lot of time outdoors. These melanomas develop from very slow growing pigmented areas of the skin called Lentigo Maligna or Hutchinson’s melanotic freckle. The Lentigo Maligna is flat and grows outwards in the surface layers of the skin.

Acral Lentiginous Melanoma

This is a rare type of melanoma found most commonly in dark-skinned people. Usually found on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or around the big toenail, it can grow under the nails. It’s more common to find on the feet than the hands.

Amelanotic Melanoma

Also a rare type of melanoma, this type is often difficult to diagnose because of their lack of color. Melanomas tend to be dark in color, but these usually have no or very little color. Occasionally they are pink, red, or have light brown or grey around the edges.

Other Types of Melanomas

Melanoma of the skin is also called cutaneous melanoma. Cutaneous is another word for skin. Although rare, melanoma can occur anywhere on or in the body, this includes internal organs.

Helpful Tips


This is a helpful check to monitor any moles or spots on your body. If you think that any of these factors affect you, please seek immediate attention to your PCP, or a dermatologist.


A healthy mole is usually circular, and even. Any bumps may be a cause of concern.


A rigid border indicates a mole may be unhealthy. Misshapen moles may be indicative of a larger issue.


Any areas of red, dark red, black, on an otherwise healthy mole, are causes that this mole should be checked.


If a mole is larger than a few millimeters across, this is concerning.


Make sure to monitor your moles. Any changes in the appearance should be looked at by a physician.

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