Melanoma (skin cancer) is a malignant tumor. In most cases, skin cancer manifests itself against the pigment nevus (single pigmented spot). In very rare cases, melanomas can develop on clean skin. Melanoma of the skin can look different: from a birthmark, slightly protruding above the surface of the skin, uneven color to a bleeding tumor-like formation. Among all skin tumors, melanoma accounts for 13%. This disease most often affects people of a fairly young age (15-40 years). Approximately half of the patients die regardless of whether antitumor therapy has been performed. This is due to the fact that patients turn to the doctor too late, often already at the stage of metastases. This type of skin cancer very quickly metastasizes. That's why doctors attach great importance to the prevention and early detection of melanoma. Early detection of skin cancer symptoms and timely diagnosis are very important: early treatment is a fairly easy operation.
Some types of melanoma
Doctors distinguish several types of this malignant tumor.
- Superficial melanoma is one of the mostCommon types of this type of skin cancer. It is in the upper layers of the skin, and its surface only protrudes slightly above the surface of the healthy skin. This melanoma is not easy to distinguish from a normal birthmark.
- Nodular melanoma. This species occurs in 25% of all patients with this disease. This is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It represents dark-colored nodules of various sizes, which are raised very markedly above the surface of the skin.
- Melanoma Lentigo is located on the neck and head of the elderly. The surface of this type of tumor is not very elevated above the surface of the skin.
- Subungual melanoma occurs in every tenth case. Often such a malignant formation is located under the toenails of the toes.
What causes can cause melanoma?
- Long exposure to ultraviolet radiation (sun tanning, solarium).
- Radioactive radiation.
- Long-term thermal impact.
- Frequent contact with arsenic, tar, soot, tar.
How to identify melanoma at an early stage
- Change in the size of a birthmark - rapid growth -most frequent of the symptoms. Especially it is necessary to pay attention to birthmarks more than 7 mm in diameter. When a new birthmark appears and begins to grow rapidly or the old birthmark suddenly begins to grow, this is an alarming symptom.
- Change the shape and color of the nevus, changecontour line of the old birthmark - very dangerous symptoms. Dark brown and black birthmarks are especially suspicious. The uneven color of the birthmark should also alert.
- The disappearance of hair from the nevus. Hair growing from a mole is a sign of its good quality. If the hair begins to fall out of her, this may indicate a malignant nevus.
- The appearance of itching in the area of the birthmark or other unpleasant sensations.
- Bleeding, moist discharge from the mole and the appearance of an inflammatory zone along the edge of the pigmented formation.
When diagnosing melanoma, it is important to keep in mind thatmen, this tumor is often on the back, and in women on the shins. Despite this, you should check the entire body, including the scalp, as well as nails on the hands and feet (it happens that this malignant formation looks like a black patch under the fingernail).
What to do with a dangerous mole?
If you find a birthmark that matchesat least one and even more a few of the above symptoms, you must immediately contact a dermatologist. Dangerous moles are subject to removal and subsequent histological examination. It will be better if you get rid of moles that are located in places of permanent trauma (for example, bra strap, trouser belt, etc.). Because damage to moles often leads to their transformation into a tumor.
Measures to prevent this disease
You are at risk if, in the past,received sunburn. Ultraviolet radiation is one of the main factors in the development of this type of cancer. Therefore, in the presence of a large number of moles on the body from sunbathing on the beach and the solarium should be abstained. If exposure to sunlight can not be prevented, protect exposed skin from direct exposure to sunlight with clothing and sunscreen. It is necessary to study all the main signs of diseases and be sure to consult a doctor if you are at risk. Make sure that you understand well what melanoma looks like and how to distinguish it from a simple healthy birthmark. Regularly inspect the entire surface of the skin. The skin of the head and back should be checked by your friend or relative. The treatment of skin cancer and its effectiveness depends on at what stage of its development you contact a doctor. The sooner this is done, the greater the chance of an absolute recovery. When diagnosing skin cancer, surgical removal of a malignant tumor is performed. As a rule, surgical intervention is not dangerous for the patient and in the absence of metastases leads to complete recovery.