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What You Need to Know About Melanoma by Jenna Visintine

By at June 1, 2015 | 10:41 am | Print

About one hundred and twenty thousand of new melanoma cases are diagnosed each year. It is the most severe type of skin cancer. It causes the most deaths out of all the skin cancers because is it possible for it to spread to other parts of the body. It can also be found anywhere on the body, but more commonly on the parts of the skin that is exposed to the sun more often. Melanoma begins in a skin cell called a melanocyte. Melanocytes are found at the bottom layer of the skin and they produce melanin which gives your skin its brown tan color.

A spot on the skin that looks abnormal to you can be warning sign you might have melanoma. Of course not all spots on the skin are cancerous. You can follow the ABCD rule to give you an idea if you should get checked out by a doctor. Asymmetrical moles can be a warning sign along with border irregularity. Color on your mole should only be one shade of brown. Also, the diameter of the mole should be smaller than the eraser on your pencil. You should also pay attention to if a mole grows or not. A skin biopsy may be done to determine whether the mole is benign or needs further treatment.

Melanoma can be curable if detected soon enough. Treatment can require cutting the mole out which is called a resection which can cause a scar, but that is not nearly as important as your life! The thicker the tumor the more severe the cancer is. Removal of a lymph gland that is nearby the mole can be suggested depending on the moles size, shape, and thickness.

Anyone can get melanoma, but one’s own family history can out some at more risk than others. If you have had a relative that has had Melanoma could increase your risk. Having faire skin and freckles can make you more at risk. A passed of many sunburns give you higher chances. The more moles you have the higher risk you have even though most are benign. Interestingly enough before the age forty five women are more at risk, but after the age forty five the chances for men go up.

A very common concern with melanoma patients is the reoccurrence of the cancer. The severity of your melanoma will determine what happens next.  A close watch and follow up examinations are performed every three to six month for the first two to three years. Sometimes x rays may be and CT scans may be done.

A patient of melanoma can also be impacted mentally. Anxiety and stress can occur from fear of the cancer reoccurrence. Precautions always have to be taken before going out into the son. Scars can also be embarrassing and make someone self-conscious.

Melanoma is a cancer that can in many cases be warded off by some common sense. A few things that you can refrain from doing is laying out in the sun trying to your extreme tan on. Put sunscreen when you know you are going to be over exposed. For girls, you can buy make up that has SPF in the ingredients which it always helpful. That way you can look good and not have sun rays damage your skin. When you go to those tropical areas on vacation where the sun a very strong you should definitely lather up. That is where I find I get the most easily burned. Wearing a hat if you have fair skin to prevent freckles and sun damage. Staying away from those tanning beds is one of the easiest things to do to not increase your chances.

 

Sources:

http://www.medicinenet.com/melanoma/page4.htm#how_do_doctors_determine_the_prognosis_outlook_of_a_melanoma

http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma#panel1-4

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-melanoma/detailedguide/melanoma-skin-cancer-after-follow-up

 

 

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