Melanoma cancer

Melanoma is not the most common form of skin cancer however it is the most dangerous. Melanoma can be fatal if not treated before it spreads to the deeper tissue under the skin and into the blood stream. Once the cancer enters the blood stream it can then travel and invade other organs of the body. If melanoma is found early, the chances of curing the cancer is close to 100%. This means that it is necessary to know your skin well so you can spot any unusual marks that may be melanoma.

Melanoma usually has characteristics that can help a person detect the beginning signs. By following an easy guideline you may be able to determine if you have a melanoma forming on your skin. It is easiest to remember the guidelines in alphabetical order. By remembering the letters A,B,C, D and E, you can be on the look out for many signs of melanoma. The first letter, A, stands for Asymmetry. If you find a spot on your skin that is not symmetrical then that is a sign of melanoma. Most freckles and moles on the skin have two sides that would mirror one another if folded in half. Melanoma is usually misshapen and looks odd. The letter B stands for Border. The border around the melanoma is typically uneven. They will not be rounded but more staggered and notched looking. The letter C stands for Color. Melanomas can be black, dark brown, pink, bluish, white or even skin colored. One give away of melanoma is the area consisting of more than one color. Melanomas can have 2 or 3 colors mixed in one spot. The letter D stands for Diameter. It is common for melanomas to be rather large in size. At least ΒΌ inch in size, a melanoma can grow very quickly. Even though melanomas may be small in the beginning, they are often not detected until they are larger in size. Lastly, the letter E stands for the word Evolving. Evolving means that if a spot on the skin has started to develop new symptoms such as itching, burning, new shape, color or texture it could be a sign of melanoma.

If you have any of the symptoms listed above then you need to see your doctor right away. These are definite warning signs that you could have melanoma. By having melanoma treated as soon as it is detected you can prevent it from progressing to a very dangerous stage.

Once Melanoma is diagnosed, the doctor will determine what stage the cancer is in and what treatment method should be used to remove the cancer. The most common form of treatment is surgical removal. By surgically removing the cancerous cells the doctor may be able to prevent the cancer from returning and spreading to other parts of the body. Since the melanoma can be surface level or very deep into the tissue, the surgery can be as easy as an in-office procedure or it could be more in depth. Other methods of treatment can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and biologic therapy. Again, the stage of the cancer will depend on the form of treatment taken to rid the skin of the melanoma.

In order to prevent from getting melanoma you should start taking precautions. Avoid spending a lot of time in the sun. Make sure to use sunscreen whenever you will be outdoors during the daylight hours. If you have a family history of melanoma, make your doctor aware so he can monitor you closely. Also get to know your own skin. By knowing what your skin looks like, you will be able to spot something unusual and get it checked out before it develops into something very dangerous.

Last updated on Aug 22nd, 2009 and filed under Cancer Research. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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