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Melanoma – a type of skin cancer. What are causes, symptoms, risk factors and treatment?

Melanoma is a kind of skin cancer. Melanocytes are the cells present in skin. This type of cancer occurs when melanocytes starts growing rapidly and uncontrolled. Usually, its a skin disease but sometimes it may also occur in the bowel and eye. This skin cancer can appear on skin or begin as a mole.
Melanomas do not occur only in the areas that are exposed to sun, major area is skin. The most common site in men is the back and the most common site in women is the leg.

CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS OF MELANOMA

– Ultraviolet radiation.
– Ordinary moles that can become cancerous.
– Too many moles increases the risk of melanoma.
– Fair complexion increases the risk of melanoma.
– Family and personal history of melanoma.
– People who have weak immune system.
– People who have bad sunburn.
– Exposure to some harmful chemicals.

SYMPTOMS OF MELANOMA

– There is a change of color, shape, size of the mole.
– The shape of half is different from other half.
– The edges become rough.
– The edges become irregular.
– The color becomes very uneven.
– The size also changes.

TYPES OF MELANOMA

According to the appearance, melanoma is divided into different types:
– Superficial spreading melanoma (SSM)
– Melanoma caused by sun damaged skin of face, scalp and neck.
– Melanoma caused on soles of feet, palms of hands or under the nails.

Diagnosis is done by the doctor by doing a biopsy. After the diagnosis, staging is done which tells how thick is the tumor and how deeply it has affected the skin.

TREATMENT FOR MELANOMA

– The standard treatment for melanoma is surgery.
– Tumor along with the tissues surrounding it are removed so that the chances of tumor spreading is decreased.
– The thickness of the melanoma decides the extent of surgery.
– The doctor can also do radiation therapy, chemotherapy and medications or a combination of different methods.

Complication of melanoma may include damage to tissues, fatigue, nausea, weakness, pain and spread to other organs.

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