Melanoma: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Medikoe Wellness Expert
80 feet road indira nagar, Bengaluru Aug 21, 2019
Melanoma is the most dangerous disease that claims thousands of lives every year, Melanoma is a form of skin cancer. It develops in the cells called melanocytes which produces melanin. It can also form in the eyes and very rarely in internal organs, such as your intestines. The risk of melanoma increases in people under 40, especially in women. Melanoma develops when the skin is exposed to harmful UV rays, which damages the DNA of skin cells.
How does melanoma develop?
This develops due to radiations and causes rapid multiplying of cells resulting in the formation of cancerous tumours. Melanin is the substance responsible for skin pigmentation, and these malignant tumours develop in the melanin-producing sites of the epidermis. These cancerous tumours often resemble moles, and some even develop from them. They are usually black or brown but can be of other colours as well.
It is usually caused by an occasional exposure to intense UV radiations causing sunburns. It is a genetically inclined disease that claims many lives every year, although it is not the most common type of skin cancer.
If cancer develops again in the same spot, it is called recurrent melanoma and has chances within the first five years post-surgery. Metastatic melanoma is when cancer spreads beyond the skin and affects other parts of the body.
What are the visible symptoms of melanoma?
Moles are the symptoms of this cancer, but not every mole that grows needs to be cancerous. The symptoms often referred to as the ABCDEs provide basic information
Asymmetry: two halves of the mole does not look similar
Border irregularity: the border of the mole is irregular and uneven
Colour: The mole is unevenly coloured and has many colours, and it looks different from other moles.
Diameter: It is usually slightly big, about 6mm
Evolving: There are noticeable changes in the colour, size and shape of the mole and sometimes even bleeding.
It is best to consult a doctor if you think you might have or are prone to melanoma.
How is melanoma treated?
In the early stages, surgery is the best option. The tumour and area around it are removed depending on the intensity and depth of cancer. In more advanced cases, in case of spreading to other parts, chemotherapy or other treatments are recommended. If diagnosed in the early stages, melanoma can usually be cured by surgery, but as the disease advances, complications increase.
How can you prevent Melanoma?
The risk of getting melanoma and other types of skin cancer can be reduced by:
- Avoiding the sun during the middle of the day.
- Wear sunscreen when going out in sun.
- Wear full clothes to provide protection form UV rays.
- Avoid tanning lamps and beds.
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