It's the middle of summer, and the sun is shining. You go to the beach with your friends and enjoy a day in the sun.
A few weeks later, you notice a strange mole on your skin. You go to the doctor, and after a series of tests, you are diagnosed with melanoma. Suddenly, life is looking a lot different than it used to.
Melanoma is a type of cancer that starts in melanocytes, which are cells that produce pigment in your skin. If caught early, melanoma can be treated successfully, but if it goes untreated, it can be deadly. This article will discuss what melanoma is, how it is treated, and what you can do to prevent it from happening to you. It will also look at the signs and symptoms of the condition.
Signs and Symptoms of Melanoma
There are several signs of melanoma that can be spotted. It’s important to look out for those
- Hyperpigmentation - Hyperpigmentation is when a mole in an area of your skin darkens in color. This can also be called a melanoma black spot. If you notice that your mole is darker than it used to be, this could mean that cancer has returned or spread to another part of your body.
- Rapid Growth - If you notice that your mole has grown much faster than it used to, this could be a sign of melanoma. If you notice any changes in your moles, you should consult with your doctor immediately so they can determine if the cancer is lethally spreading throughout your body.
- Soreness or Itching - Pain or itching around a mole could show that the melanoma is beginning to spread. If you notice any changes in your moles, such as pain or itching, you should see your doctor immediately so they can get a better look at what is going on with you.
- Asymmetrical in shape - The mole should be symmetrical, with equal left and right sides. If it has become asymmetrical (meaning one side is larger than the other), this could mean that melanoma is beginning to develop in the area.
- Enlarged Lymph Nodes - Lymph nodes are a part of your immune system and help fight off infection in your body. If the lymph nodes in the area surrounding a mole are becoming enlarged, this could mean that melanoma cells have spread to other parts of your body.
- Irregular border - A mole with an irregular border is a dangerous sign. This means that cancer could have spread to other parts of your skin in the area. The borders should be well-defined and even, not scalloped or blurry.
Melanoma Treatment & Prevention
If you are diagnosed with melanoma, you will undergo treatment that depends on the severity and type of cancer cells found in your body. The treatment can be surgical, where the doctor will remove as much of the melanoma as possible or involve chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
One way to prevent melanoma from developing is to wear sunscreen when you go outside for long periods. This will protect your skin from burning and damage that can lead to melanoma. Wear a hat with a wide brim to protect your face from the sun's harmful UV rays whenever you are outside.
Another way you can prevent melanoma from developing is by not tanning or going out in the sun without sunscreen. If you decide to go outside for an extended period, make sure you wear sunscreen to keep your skin from getting too much sun. Also, wear protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses. This will shield your skin from the sun's harmful rays and keep it looking young and healthy for years to come.
Finally, make sure you visit your doctor regularly for check-ups and dermatological exams. They can spot changes in your skin before they become melanoma problems, giving you a much better chance of survival if you do have melanoma cells.
If you notice any changes in your skin that could be a sign of melanoma, make an appointment with your dermatologist immediately. They will determine if you have developed a dangerous type of cancer and work on the best solution for it. Melanoma is very deadly if left untreated, so make any changes in your skin very seriously.