Melanoma also known as malignant melanoma is a fatal type of cancer that develops from the pigments containing cells which are melanocytes.
It produces melanin which gives color to your skin. It occurs in the skin but sometimes in can also occur in your mouth.
It can also occur in your eyes, back and legs. Often times they occur in your mole.
There are no known causes of melanoma but experts say that if you are exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the tanning lamps and beds or sunlight, you will likely have this disease. You should not expose yourself to too much ultraviolet radiation so you will not have melanoma.
This disease is increasing in women especially when they are less than 40 years of age. You should be aware of the symptoms and signs of melanoma so you can have treatment as soon as possible.
Melanoma symptoms may appear in many forms on the skin. It is important to check in with your dermatologist regularly.
Malignant melanoma can occur anywhere in your body but mostly on the surfaces of your skin that have a lot of exposure to the ultraviolet radiation or sunlight such as the arms and legs, face and back or nape.
There are also hidden melanomas usually from people who have darker skins and can develop in areas such as palms of your hands, fingernail beds, and soles of your feet.
Melanoma does not always start as a mole, but a change in an existing mole which develops a new unusual looking growth in your skin can be the first sign that you have melanoma.
If you have a black, brown or tan mole, it is called normal mole. Normal moles are round and mostly smaller like around ¼ inch (6 millimeters) in diameter.
A lot of people have more than 10 moles all over their body that occurs around when you are 50 years of age. Other moles may grow but some may disappear while growing up.
There are no known causes of melanoma.
Malignant melanoma may develop when there is something wrong with the melanocytes.
New cells may begin to grow out of control and can eventually form a mass of cancerous cells if DNA damage develops in some of the cells.
Experts say that a combination of genetic and environmental factors might be one of the reasons melanoma, but the biggest factor is the exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
4 Making a Diagnosis
If you are suspecting that you have melanoma go and see a doctor to receive a diagnosis. You can ask a family member of a friend to accompany you.
You may ask the doctor questions such as:
What are the symptoms that you are experiencing?
For how long are you experiencing this signs and symptoms?
Does anyone in your family have this?
What vitamins, supplements, and medications are you taking every day?
You may also ask the doctor such as:
Do I have a melanoma?
How severe is my melanoma?
Is it going to spread all throughout my skin?
What laboratory tests or exams I need to take?
Are there treatments?
What kind of treatments?
What kind of medications?
What will be the side effects of these treatments?
Can it be cured totally?
Should I see a specialist?
Most likely you will be referred to a dermatologist that specializes in skin diseases or an oncologist that specializes in cancer treatments. Ask your doctor if you need periodic screening.
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