The Reality Of Melanoma
Individuals with melanoma have cancer of the skin that begins as melanocytes. These are cells on the body that create moles. It’s important to remember not all moles develop melanoma. Different melanoma types can occur on various parts of the body. There are melanoma signs a person should look for on their body
Types Of Melanoma
There are three main melanoma types.
- Mucosal: This occurs in the body’s mucous membranes. This includes throat, mouth, nasal passages and more.
- Cutaneous: This is melanoma of the skin. It is the most common type of melanoma. It has four different descriptions. Superficial Spreading, Lentigo Maligna, Nodular and Acral Lentiginous.
- Ocular: This is found in a person’s eyes. It is rare and is also known as choroidal or uveal melanoma.
One of the most common melanoma signs is a new spot on a person’s skin. It could also be a spot on a person’s skin that has changed shape, color or size. It could also be a spot that is very different from other spots.
When a physician looks at melanoma pictures from a person’s skin, they are looking for certain features.
- Asymmetry: This is a person who has half of a mole or birthmark that doesn’t match the other half.
- Border: This is when the edges of a spot on the skin are blurred, ragged or irregular.
- Color: The skin is not entirely the same color. It may have various shades of black or brown. It’s even possible for there to be patches of blue, red or pink.
- Diameter: Melanoma can occur on a spot that is only a quarter of an inch across or smaller.
- Evolving: This is when the spot on a person’s skin is changing in shape, color as well as size.
Physicians who look at these melanoma pictures know them as the A, C, D, E guides.
There are a number of melanoma symptoms. A spot on a person’s body changing in texture or scale. Other melanoma symptoms include sores that don’t heal as well as spots that have itchiness as well as pain or tenderness. Swelling that spreads outside the border of a spot on the skin and more.
Four different levels make up melanoma staging.
- Stage 0: The melanoma cells are found on the surface or outer most layer of the skin. This is highly unlikely to move to other parts of a person’s body.
- Stage I: This is melanoma in the skin and very thin. This stage has two different groups. IA and IB which are determined by the thickness of the melanoma. The mitotic rate, as well as any presence of ulceration.
- Stage II: This melanoma has more thickness than stage I. It goes past the outer part of the skin and into the epidermis as well as the inner layer of skin. This condition has a higher chance of spreading than Stage I. This stage has three different groups. A, B and C, determined by the thickness and presence of ulceration.
- Stage III: Melanoma has spread into a person’s lymphatic system. This could be located near the lymph node or on a person’s skin. This also has three subgroups A, B and C. This is determined by size and number of lymph nodes affected by Melanoma.
- Stage IV: Melanoma is within a person’s blood stream and other parts of the body. Distant organs in the body are affected. It can be in a person’s liver, brain, lungs and more. It has three different categories. One is M1a, M1b, and M1c based on where it has spread.
This melanoma staging covers it coming back after a person has treatment.
It is possible to have melanoma removed with surgery. This can cure most melanomas. A person may need immunotherapy. This is the use of medication to stimulate a person’s immune system. Targeted therapy targets specific melanoma cells on a person’s body. Chemotherapy can be used to attack cells that have spread beyond a person’s skin. There has even bee success with radiation therapy. This treatment uses high-energy rays to kill melanoma cells.