What Does Melanoma Look Like?
Melanoma is one of the serious types of skin cancers which occur due to overexposure to the sun. Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that occurs due to the pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. Melanoma affects the skin and converts it into deadly cancerous cells.
Most of the pigment cells are part of skin, although melanoma can also occur in the eyes (called ocular melanoma) as well as in other parts of the body relating to the intestines, which is very rare. Skin cancer is very rarely found in people with dark skin. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is not as common as the basal cell and squalors cell skin cancers. But melanoma is highly dangerous because it spreads faster.
Melanoma is one of the highly affecting cancers which can be caused due to sun exposure, and it needs the best of treatments right on time to control and eliminate it completely, which is a challenging task.
This cancer costs a number of deaths every year. It is highly necessary to know more about the preventions and the effective treatment regarding the disease.
Types of Cancer Cells
Squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma are two such types of non-melanoma skin cancer. Basal cell is one of the most common forms of cells and usually grows very slowly. Both types of cells are known as keratinocytes skin cancers. Like the skin cancer-related melanoma, the other type of cell, squamous, is also linked to sun exposure.
The Facts About Melanoma
The following are the key points relating to melanoma which are important in terms of understanding the disease:
- Melanoma is the rarest type of skin cancer and is considered to be the most dangerous of the three most common types of skin cancers.
- Melanoma causes up to 2% of skin cancer deaths in the overall figure of nearly 13,000 cancer deaths every year.
- The higher risk factors are identified among melanoma and the number is increasing every year for people under the age of 40 years. Also, most of the patients are women.
- The main reason behind having melanoma is over exposure to the sun, so, to avoid the skin cancer, one should avoid sunburns.
- A biopsy sample and test will confirm the cancer once it is detected.
- Self-monitoring every mole and removing all types of skin tumors will help in the early detection of skin cancer.
- The removal of affected skin and tumors should be performed and tested on time, which will reduce the chances of getting cancer at the early stages.
Recent Studies About Melanoma
Melanoma can develop on any part of the skin, but some areas are more prone to it than others. For men, the part of the skin that is more prone to cancer is the chest and back of the body, and for women, the legs are the more common, along with the face and neck.
Recent Developments in Melanoma
Grapefruit and orange juice can increase the risk of melanoma. According to a recent survey, it is found that grapefruit and orange juice are linked to an increased risk of melanoma. The report was published in the medical science magazine Journal of Clinical Oncology.
- Scientists identified another dangerous cancer gene in melanoma
According to the study, it is found that the subgroup of mutations which has a significant number of melanomas have found a new, dangerous gene as a part of melanoma. It was stated by the experts doing the research on melanoma, and the report is published in the journal Nature Genetics. It helps in finding more research on new findings and targeting new therapies which can effectively cure the disease.
- A newfound immunotherapy treatment for cancer boosts the effective treatment
The immunotherapy which was discovered recently for treating cancer offers a better approach to deal with cancer and to treat it according. The treatment boosts the fight against cancer and offers hope to many cancer victims who are suffering from the deadly disease.
Are Antioxidants Helpful or Harmful?
The term "antioxidant" is mainly associated with health, and it can often lead to better health and vitality, which is part of a better lifestyle. According to a new study conducted on mice, a wide range of antioxidants not only reduced the effect of cancer on the skin, but also energized the skin to fight back against the cancer cells.
- The moles on the right arm may cause deadly skin cancer
According to the scientific study, the moles on the right arm could be dangerous and could create a risk of having cancer. The scientific research has undertaken to find more information about the risk factors involved in having moles on the right hand.
Causes of Melanoma
It is observed that most people having certain types of skin are more prone to developing melanoma. It can cause cancer due to the following causes:
- Having a large number of moles on the body
- Having more than five larger-sized moles on the body
- Having all types of spots, including age spots, gray-brown spots, liver spots, and sun spots
- Having congenital melanocytic nevus, such as brown skin marks present at birth (birth marks)
The risk of cancer can be high in people with pale skin who do not tan easily and burn; light-colored eyes are part of this personality.
Warning Signs of Melanoma
Always look out for the ABCDEs of melanoma:
Individuals come across moles, brown spots, or growths on the body all the time and in most cases these are harmless. But this may not always be the case. Any individual who has been identified as having more than 100 moles on his or her body is at a greater risk of having melanoma. The first signs of melanoma can appear in one or more atypical moles. Hence, it is very important to understand the skin and to keep a watch on any changes in moles. One can also follow the ABCDE signs, which would make it easier to differentiate between regular moles and moles leading to melanoma:
- Assymetry: If you see a mole that looks a bit different than the regular ones, for example, if you draw line through the middle of the mole it would divide into half, it is called symmetrical. However, if the two halves do not match, then it is termed asymmetrical and is a warning sign that it is a melanoma mole.
- Border: A mole that is benign has a smooth and even border, which is not the case with melanoma moles. The border of the mole in early melanoma is uneven and the edges may look notched or scalloped.
- Color: Benign moles mostly have the same color, a single shade of brown. However, it is a warning sign if the mole has a variety of colors. It can be different shades of brown, black, or tan. In some cases, a melanoma mole also appears red or blue in color.
- Diameter: Regular benign moles have a smaller diameter, however, melanoma moles have a larger diameter, but in the initial stage it can get confused with the benign one since they appear smaller.
- Evolving: Regular moles are often the same throughout, however, one should be alert if the mole tends to change over time. Contact the doctor if you see that a mole has been changing in terms of size, color, elevation, or shape. In some cases, it can lead to bleeding, crusting, or itching.