While melanoma is a form of skin cancer that does not occur as often when compared to other types of skin cancer, it is the most serious form and is often the most deadly. Melanoma develops in melanocytes, which are the cells that produce the pigment in skin, eyes and hair. In addition to affecting the skin, it can also spread to other parts of the body including internal organs, eyes and bones. The following discusses the symptoms, causes, risk factors, treatment and prevention of melanoma.
The initial symptoms of melanoma are a noticeable change in size, shape or color of an existing mole or the sudden development of a new growth or mark that is unusual in appearance. These changes can develop virtually anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found on the face, legs, arms and back.
Characteristics of unusual moles include:
- Asymmetrical in shape
- Presence of an uneven border with an edge that is scalloped or notched
- Changes in color such as brown, tan or black
- Are larger than 1/4 inch in diameter
- A sudden change in shape, color, bleeding or crusting
While there is not a single factor that directly causes melanoma, in many cases, direct exposure to ultraviolet rays is one of the main determining factors. Exposure to ultraviolet light is not the sole factor that causes this form of cancer, as it is believed that a combination of genetic and environmental factors are also involved.
People with fair skin, have light colored hair or eyes and those who freckle or sunburn easily are at an increased risk for developing melanoma. Since these people have less melanin in their skin, it is more susceptible to the damaging effects of ultraviolet light. A further risk factor is having at least one blistering sunburn during childhood or adolescence. People who live in close proximity to the equator are also at risk, since they are exposed to higher levels of ultraviolet radiation. People with weakened immune systems and those who have more than 50 moles already present on their body are also at risk for melanoma.
When detected early, our professional colleagues at Dermatologist OC (http://www.dermatologistorangecounty.net) say that doctors will surgically remove the cancer from the skin. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, radiation, chemotherapy and biological therapy are the treatments used to kill cancer cells. If the lymph nodes have been affected, they will most likely be surgically removed.
Many cases of skin cancer can be prevented by wearing sunscreen each day and covering the body as much as possible when in the sun. Avoiding the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. as well as not using tanning beds will also reduce a person’s risk. A person should also regularly examine their body so that they will be able to quickly notice any changes.
In every year, around one million people determine to have the melanoma malignancy. It is a condition which can be cure effortlessly. If that it happens in the harder phase of treatment, it can even bring about death. Melanoma is one of the real skin growth bringing about maladies contact specialist when you see signs close to this disease.