What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer wherein pigment-producing cells in the skin called Melanocytes began to grow uncontrollably and harm other tissues. These cells produce melanin which is responsible for the color of the skin. Melonama is the most dangerous type of skin cancer which causes about 77% of the cancer’s deaths with approximately 100,000 people are diagnosed every year.
Where it Grow?
Melanoma can grow in any part of the body. For men, they usually grow on the neck, the trunk, and the head. For women it can usually grow at the arms and the hips. If not treated immediately, Melanoma can grow inside the skin and into the body which can cause cancer, and from cancer to death.
ABCDE’s of Melanoma
There are many signs that help find the infection of Melanoma. The most common signs are referred to as ABCDE’s of Melanoma. The A is for Asymmetry, it shows that the half of the markings doesn’t match the other half; while the letter B is for Border Irregularity, edges of the mark are ragged or blurred; C is for Color, colors are not consistent, and it shows shades of brown and black with dashes of red and white; D is for Diameter, the width is greater than 6 millimeters; lastly is the letter E for Evolution, which means the symmetry, the border, the color, and diameter shows changes over time.
Diagnosis is the first step to determine whether a mole or a suspicious spot in the skin is infected with Melanoma. Either the whole or just a portion of the affected area will be removed in order to gather tissues that will be examined in a laboratory during biopsy.
A dermatologist is the one who is responsible for checking if the tissue removed during the biopsy is cancerous or not and for check how deep the virus is rooted in the skin. A device called dermoscope is used to light and magnify the skin that helps dermatologists to get a better look in the patient’s skin.
One Millimeter Deep
A melanoma that is more than 1 millimeter deep is more likely to infect other parts of the body including internal organs. The doctor may do additional examinations that include blood tests, a chest X-ray, a CT scan, and additional biopsies for further severe cases.
Having the Disease
There are different factors that increase the chances of having a melanoma. Having exposure to natural and artificial sunlight for a long time (ultraviolet rays); having a family background which has several and unusual moles; having an organ transplant; and being a white man gives you an increase chance of having melanoma.
There are several types of Melanoma cases in which differ in many things:
• Superficial Spreading Melanoma – This is the most common type of Melanoma disease. It will come from the skin with flat outward appearance. It can always be detected by using the ABCDE’s of Melanoma which shows the different characteristics of the disease.
• Acral Lentiginous Melanomas – This type of Melanoma grows in the parts of the body that has no hair including the palms, soles, underneath the nails. Melanoma underneath the nails looks like red bumps while in the palms appears as darker spots.
• Lentigo Maligna Melanomas – The type of Melanoma that looks like a growing brown spot and occur from too much sun exposure. It usually shows sign of sun damages and grows on the scalp, face, neck, and other parts of the body that are most exposed to sunlight