What is Melanoma?
Melanoma (malignant melanoma) is one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer. It develops in skin cells known as melanocytes that become malignant.
Melanoma is more dangerous than most other skin cancers because it can grow fast and is prone to spreading to other organs if left untreated.
Miiskin has created a series of doctor-reviewed articles about melanoma – including it’s symptoms, risk factors and how it is diagnosed. Additionally approaches for the prevention of melanoma are covered.
Melanoma Symptoms & Detection
Melanoma often starts as a change in an existing mole, but 70% of melanomas show up as a new mark on previous normal skin.
Since melanoma is a potentially fatal disease, it is very important to find it early when it’s easier to treat. Melanomas can develop anywhere on the skin so it’s important to examine your entire skin and look for any moles or marks you haven’t noticed earlier, changes to existing moles or anything that just seems to be unusual.1
Pictures of melanoma can help you get a feeling of the many forms that melanoma might take. In many cases it is unique in appearance. It’s important to view photos for informational purposes only and not to compare them with moles on your skin instead of seeing a doctor. It’s always best to check in with your doctor if you are in doubt.
Melanoma Risks & Causes
Being at high risk of melanoma implies that your risk of developing the disease is greater than the average person, but it doesn’t mean that you will necessarily get melanoma. For those at high risk, some risk factors can be managed such as UV exposure, while other risk factors, like skin type, family genes and your age, are factors that are innate.
It is valuable to know the risk factors of melanoma because they may help you modify your habits and lower your risk.
Melanoma prevention includes actions to reduce the risk of developing melanoma in the first place, or catching it early if it should develop.
There are different ways to prevent melanoma, such as limiting your exposure to the sun, avoid UV tanning beds, and performing skin checks on a regular basis to detect any changes early.