Melanoma: what it is, symptoms, causes and treatment (includes photos)

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Melanoma is a type of malignant tumor or skin cancer that develops in melanocytes, which are the skin cells responsible for the production of melanin, the substance that gives color to the skin. Therefore, melanoma is more frequent when there are repeated lesions in these cells, which can occur mainly due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or artificial tan. However, despite being more rare, melanoma can also appear in the eyes or on the mucous membranes such as the mouth, nose, throat, year, vagina or gastrointestinal tract, for example.

In this type of cancer, melanocytes grow in a fast, abnormal and uncontrolled way, which is why they can spread to other organs such as the lungs, brain, liver, intestines, causing metastasis, which makes treatment more difficult, reducing the possibilities of cure.

For this reason, before the first sign of alteration in the skin, the appearance or growth of spots or moons, it is necessary to consult a dermatologist to identify the onset of melanoma, facilitate the treatment and increase the possibilities of cure.

Main signs and symptoms

The first signs and symptoms of melanoma are the appearance of a stain in the darkest skin color and the changes in size, form the color of an existing stain.

One of the best ways to evaluate whether a lunar may be a melanoma, and its characteristics are observed by means of a rule known as A B C Dwhich is why it is recommended to consult a dermatologist in the event that the stain has the most of the following characteristics:

  • Asymmetry: In general, if you bring an imaginary line in the middle of the moon, the parts resulting from the sound are similar, this one, because it is asymmetrical, presents greater probabilities of being malignant;
  • edges: a lunar with regular and smooth edges if it is benign and does not represent a danger for health; on the contrary, moons with irregular and poorly defined edges can be a sign of skin cancer;

  • Color: The normal lunar and no risk of cancer generally present a brown color, without major changes in the color; on the other hand, melanoma moles have darker colors or even a mix of different ones, such as black, blue, red or white, for example;
  • Diameter: The melanoma stain usually has a diameter greater than 6 millimeters. For this reason, in the event that a moon has a larger than normal size, it is very important to consult a dermatologist, even if it is symmetrical and has a normal color and regular edges.

Asimism, the malignant moons can also grow over time, being able to start as a small spot, which increases in size until it becomes a moon with more than 6 mm in diameter.

In addition, the spots or moons that present with comezón, burning or bleeding easily, and the presence of herides that take a long time to heal, can also be indicative of melanoma.

types of melanoma

The types of melanoma vary according to the region where they appear and their development, including the main types:

1. Superficial extension melanoma

Superficial extension melanoma is the most common type of melanoma and initially develops in the most superficial cells of the skin, and can extend to the deepest regions of the skin.

This type of melanoma starts with brown or light brown areas on the skin or with small red, white, black or blue spots.

2. Nodular melanoma

Nodular melanoma is the second most common type of melanoma and is the most aggressive because it presents a rapid growth and can reach other regions of the body from the beginning.

This type of cancer starts with a raised, rigid or bulky black, bluish or reddish-blue spot and causes no symptoms. However, it is an easy tumor to identify due to the rapid increase in the size of the lesion.

3. Lentigo malignant melanoma

Malignant lentigo melanoma generally occurs in areas that are more exposed to the sun, such as the face, buttocks, hairy scalp and back of the hands, being more common in major people with skin very damaged by the sun.

This type of melanoma can invade deeper layers of the skin and form a flat, brown or black spot, with irregular edges and different colors such as dark brown or black spots on the surface.

4. Acral lentiginous melanoma

Acral lentiginous melanoma is more rare and initially affects the most superficial layers of the skin, especially the palmas de las manos, planta de los pies and nails, being the most common melanoma in black, Asian and Hispanic people.

possible causes

In addition to exposure to the sun and frequent sunburn, melanoma can also be caused by any other type of exposure to UV rays, such as artificial tan cameras, for example. This occurs because this type of light is able to penetrate the cells, being able to provoke malignant alterations that lead to the appearance of cancer.

However, melanoma can appear in any part of the body, even when it is protected from UV light, for this reason, although it is more rare, it can also develop when it avoids sun exposure, being related to family, genetic and environmental factors.

Some factors that seem to increase the risk of developing a melanoma include:

  • Tener skin clara, cabello rubio or pelirrojo y ojos clara;
  • Have a history of sunburn;
  • Difficulty to tan;
  • Ease of forming pieces;
  • Have many blemishes or non-common blemishes on the skin;
  • Poseer history of skin cancer in the family;
  • Have an illness that affects the immune system.

Persons with the most of these factors must carry out regular consultations with the dermatologist for a complete evaluation of the skin, in order to identify possible alterations that may be a sign of early cancer.

How is the treatment performed?

The treatment of melanoma depends on the size, the stage of the cancer and the health status of the person, and must be guided by an oncologist or dermatologist, who can indicate the following procedures:

  • surgery to eliminate melanoma;
  • immunotherapy to help the immune system fight cancer;
  • directed therapy, which acts directly on melanoma cells;
  • Radiotherapy, that it can be performed in situations where it is not possible to completely eliminate the melanoma by means of surgery to treat the lymph nodes affected by the melanoma;
  • Chemotherapy to destroy the cells of melanoma, which can be administered directly in la vena or with the use of tablets orally.

In situations where there is metastasis, chemotherapy and radiotherapy must be started as quickly as possible. However, success rates are relatively low, and metastasis appears in more advanced stages of cancer.

Does melanoma have a cure?

Melanoma has a high cure rate when it has not yet spread to other parts of the body and when the diagnosis is performed as soon as the first sign appears. For this reason, it is very important to frequently observe the moons and skin spots, looking for some alteration.

Asimism, people who have suffered from some type of skin cancer or who have cases in the family, should go to the dermatologist regularly, as they present a greater risk of developing melanoma.

How to prevent melanoma

Some measures can help to avoid or reduce the risks of developing a melanoma, such as:

  • avoid the sun at peak hours between 10 am and 4 pm;
  • Use sunscreen dailywith minimum SPF 30, even on cloudy days;
  • wear wing sombrero if the sun exposure is inevitable;
  • Avoid artificial bronzing.

Apart from this, the skin of the whole body should be frequently examined, especially the areas most exposed to the sun such as the face, the skin, the ears and the scalp, in search of changes such as the appearance of spots, pieces, bultos or changes in existing brands. of birth.

Find out how to prevent skin cancer.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

Content for educational purposes only

The translator user relied on the following text:

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Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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