With proper treatment, malignant melanoma skin cancer is highly curable In its early stage.
Melanoma is the third most common type of skin cancer with basal cell carcinoma being number one, followed by squamous cell carcinoma in second.
The following video makes a strong point.
About 50,000 cases of malignant melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed in the US every year. About 8,000 lose their lives to this deadly form of melanoma cancer. It is estimated that 1 in 70 people will develop melanoma skin cancer in their lifetime.
Melanoma detection plays an extremely important role in curing this cancer. Melanomas vary in shape, size and color. They are usually dark pigmented, but they also may be pale in color, making them look very innocent
Two of the highest risk factors for malignant melanoma are:
• Sun exposure ….and
• Regular tanning bed use.
Other risk factors include:
• Family history of melanoma
• Personal history of melanoma
• Caucasions (but not limited to)
• History of non-melanoma skin cancer
• High number of moles may increase the risk
Many of us have been accustomed to associate tanning with healthier looking skin. But in fact, excessive tanning makes your skin age faster and is a leading cause of malignant melanoma skin cancer.
Ultraviolet rays do have a health benefit for us, but consistent overexposure to the sun and tanning beds can be extremely harmful.
As with most things, the key is moderation.
Melanomas vary in shape, size and color. They are usually dark pigmented, but they also may be pale in color, making them look very innocent.
The American Cancer Society has an “ABCD” system which is very useful for identifying suspicious lesions.
It is as follows:
• Asymmetry: If the Mole is folded upon itself in any plane, one half does not match the other
• Border irregularity: Edges are notched, blurred, or ragged
• Color: There may be differing shades of pink, tan, black, blue, red, or even white within the same mole
• Diameter: Though melanomas may be quite small, any mole over 6 mm (about the diameter of a pencil eraser) is suspicious.
When you see anything suspicious happening, see your Doctor or dermatologist right away for proper detection.
• A Doctor or a nurse can examine your skin for any Abnormalities In Moles, birthmarks or other pigmented areas.
• A biopsy can be performed to remove as much as possible.
• A pathologist examines the tissue for cancer cells
I would say to have the biopsy sample checked by a second pathologist as melanoma can be hard to diagnose and it’s nothing to take a chance with.
If the biopsy is found to be cancerous, then the rest can be surgically removed.
Prognosis for malignant melanoma skin cancer is greater if the malignant melanoma has not spread beyond the outer layer of the skin into the lymph nodes or other places in the body.
The best protection would be to avoid excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays and begin a healthy lifestyle to strengthen your immune system.
It’s never too early or too late to take control of your health.
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Updated May 5, 2015
"MELANOMA : “NO BIG DEAL ” IT'S JUST SKIN CANCER!
Hi! My name is Nick and I’m 56 yrs. old and this is part of my story. Let me tell you, I was like a lot of people out there and I had no idea that skin cancer was anything bad. I had Basal cell back in 2007, but that was no big deal and it was removed and that was the end of that. No one told me that it was a type of skin cancer (I looked it up on my computer). But still no big deal, it would not kill me.
But I did know the word "Melanoma"....." --by Nick
Scared to Death!!! - by Shelly
Our Cancer Stories are so similar, mine and Gary's! - by Valerie
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The Weather Channel has done well posting this information and photos to help you spot skin cancer, including melanoma.
It can be hard to spot, even for a professional.
The bottom line is to get an expert's opinion about any suspicious mole or lesion on your skin. If necessary, get a second opinion and/or request a biopsy. it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Don’t put your very life at risk!