If you are a patient awaiting your biopsy results or have just received a diagnosis of melanoma, this is the blog for you. This comprehensive site is full of information and resources. The author has also included many personal stories from people living with melanoma, which can be encouraging for those facing a diagnosis. Readers can also learn about the different stages of melanoma and find dermatologists in their area. The Melanoma Research Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for melanoma by supporting medical research and providing educational resources to the public.
If you have a suspicious spot on your skin that may be melanoma, you need to know the signs. Watch this video to find out how to check your skin, what to look for and what questions to ask your doctor.
As the most serious type of skin cancer, melanoma can spread quickly if not treated early. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2016 there will be 73,870 new cases of invasive melanoma diagnosed in the U.S. Melanoma can occur on any part of the body, but is most commonly found on areas that get a lot of sun exposure such as the back, legs, arms and face. The good news is that when detected early it can be cured and treatment options are available for all stages of melanoma.
Melanoma begins with a change in the size, shape or color of a mole. A healthy mole is usually an even color throughout and has a distinct edge. Sometimes a mole will have a mixture of colors or an irregular border. See images below for examples of normal moles versus abnormal moles that may signal melanoma.
Melanoma is one of the most common types of skin cancer. It’s characterized as an uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells that are called melanocytes. Unlike other skin cancers, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body through blood vessels and lymph vessels.
There are four types of melanoma:
Superficial spreading melanoma is the most common type in adults. It begins as a flat lesion with varying shades of black or brown color and spreads outwards on the surface of the skin.
Lentigo maligna melanoma is usually found in older adults, especially those who have spent a long time exposed to the sun. It appears as a flat, discolored patch that grows slowly over months or years.
Acral lentiginous melanoma develops on palms, soles, and under nails. This type is more common in people with dark skin and Asians. The lesions have an uneven color with shades of brown and black, and they also grow over time.
Nodular melanoma starts out as a raised area that may be black, red, pink or white in color. This type grows quickly compared to other types of melanomas.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. It starts in melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin and color the skin. Melanomas usually appear as brown or black growths on the skin. They can also be blue, gray, pink, red, or white.
Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body, but it’s more likely to start on the trunk (chest and back) in men or on the legs in women. It may also form on the scalp, face, neck, mouth, genital area or other parts of the body.
Melanoma develops when something goes wrong in the DNA of skin cells called melanocytes. Errors in DNA can make cells grow out of control and form a mass called a tumor. A tumor can be cancerous or benign. A cancerous tumor is malignant, meaning it can spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor means the tumor will not spread.[/size]
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is less common than basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, but it also tends to be more serious. The good news is that when treated early, melanoma is almost always treatable. However, if left untreated, this cancer can spread quickly and become life-threatening. The main risk factors for melanoma are:
Fair skin and light-colored eyes
A large number of moles or atypical moles
A family history of melanoma
Being exposed to ultraviolet light through the sun or tanning beds
People who have had severe sunburns in their childhood and adolescence are also at a higher risk for developing melanoma. While these factors do not cause melanoma, they do increase your chances of developing it.
Signs and Symptoms
If you have fair skin or a family history of melanoma, it is important to check your skin every month for changes in your moles or new moles. If you notice any changes in the size, shape or color of your moles or if new moles appear, you should contact a dermatologist as soon as possible to have them checked out. Other signs that might indicate the presence of melanoma include:
Skin cancer, melanoma is the most common form of skin cancer and this deadly disease causes the majority of skin cancer deaths.
Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer that usually develops from a mole or a pigmented area on the skin. It may be difficult to diagnose because it can look like so many other things. This makes it important for you to be aware of any changes in birthmarks, moles or freckles on your body and get them evaluated by your doctor.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you perform monthly self-exams on your skin looking for new moles and changes to existing moles on your body. If you notice anything suspicious, make an appointment with your doctor right away.
Melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes, which are the cells that make the pigment melanin and are derived from the neural crest. These tumors originate in the skin, but may occasionally occur in other pigmented tissues, such as the eye or in the intestines.
Melanomas typically occur in the skin, but may rarely occur in the mouth, intestines or genital area. They usually contain melanin and are visibly brown. The majority of cutaneous melanomas are black or brown, but they can also be skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white. Melanoma is caused by multiple genetic changes. The initial genetic change probably occurs in a precursor to a melanocyte called a melanoblast. This preliminary genetic change likely results in uncontrolled growth (proliferation) of melanocytes and possibly tumor invasion and metastasis later on. Enough mutations probably need to accumulate for cancer to develop.
The average lifetime risk of developing melanoma is about 2% but is higher among Caucasians: 3% for men and 4% for women. Each year there will be an estimated 76,380 new cases of invasive melanoma among US men and women with 9990 related deaths; despite this high mortality rate only about 5% of