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Melanoma - Melanoma Facts You Should Know!

What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a kind of melanocyte tumor that is found mainly in the skin. This type of tumor is malignant and is also found in the eye and bowel. While this type of cancer is rare it is also the one that causes the most deaths related to skin cancer.

Melanoma is causes by the growth of melanocyte cells. This is a kind of pigment cell and the cancer is caused by its uncontrolled growth.

The common types of this disease if present in the skin are:
  • Nodular Melanoma
  • Lentigo Melanoma
  • Superficial spreading Melanoma
  • Acral Lentiginous Melanoma
If the disease occurs elsewhere in the body the types are:
  • Clear cell sarcoma
  • Uveal Melanoma
  • Mucosal Melanoma
Factors that can cause Melanoma
Melanoma can either be hereditary or caused by the environment.

People who suffer from Melanoma because of heredity acquire the disease because of intrinsic factors, while those who acquire it because of factors like exposure to the UVA/UVB rays of the sun are said to be prone to it because of environmental factors.

One can protect themselves from the harmful UV rays of the sun by using adequate sunscreen products and by wearing protective clothing. This however is not an established fact for protection against Melanoma. However, use of protective sunscreen can protect from sun damage and sunburn skincare can help heal and promote healthy recovery from burns.

Five easy steps to detecting Melanoma
Detecting melanomas can be accomplished by the very simple ABCDE process:

A – Asymmetrical lesions on the skin
B – Border of the lesion appears irregular
C – Color: Multiple colors is a trademark of melanomas
D – Diameter: Moles that are larger than 5 mm
E – Evolution: The presence of a lesion or mole that changes. Elevation: If the mole is elevated or raised.

How does one treat Melanoma?

The most effective treatment is surgery before the tumor becomes greater than 1mm thick. A biopsy may also be done depending on the stage the cancer may be in. The biopsy is done on the sentinel lymph node.

Chemotherapy and immunotherapy are also used in treating this disease and there have been cases that show dramatic success.

Another treatment that is becoming widely used or melanomas that are superficial is called Lentigo Maligna treatment. This treatment is done by applying a topical cream which acts as an agent that enhances immunity. This treatment has been proven to reduce the size of the tumors.

Radiation is also another form of treatment for Melanoma patients.