Serious Form of Skin Cancer
Melanoma: Serious Form of Skin Cancer
Melanoma is a serious form of cancer. It is one of the deadliest types of skin cancer. This disease occurs when melanocytes, which are cells that make melanin, become malignant. Melanoma usually appears as an irregular dark or red spot. It can also be from an existing mole that changes shape, size, or color. Most often this disease can occur from repeated exposure to UV light.
Recently my step mother experienced a tingling sensation around an existing mole and noticed is was beginning to enlarge. Like any concerned individual she went to the doctor to have it checked out. Her symptoms are known as the most common symptoms of melanoma. The doctor scheduled her for a biopsy the following week. Her biopsy procedure began with local anesthesia. The doctor then used a scalpel to remove the abnormal area. Two other diagnostic procedures that could be used to diagnose melanoma are to shave or punch out the skin spot. Her results unfortunately came back positive which led to x-rays to make sure it hadn’t spread as well as a larger biopsy to detect the stage of the cancer.
Thankfully, her stage of melanoma was stage one. They performed a surgery to remove the whole abnormal area. More invasive treatments for melanoma include radiation therapy, immunotherapy, or chemotherapy. The best prevention of this disease is to avoid an extreme amount of sun light, which leads to a sunburn many times. It is best to stay inside during the crowning hours of the day. Sunscreen is a definite must. Sidestepping tanning beds is also a way to limit your intake of UV rays. Protect your skin and check it regularly for suspicious spots.
Eckman, M. (2011). Professional guide to pathophysiology (3rd ed.). PA: Wolters Kluwer.