Is a mole changing its shape, size or colour? You might be showing signs of melanoma! When left untreated melanoma can spread to various parts of the body. This can be difficult to treat and to treat melanoma in its initial stages, you should know its symptoms. What are the symptoms? Read on…
Melanoma is a life threatening disease. Although melanoma is rare, it causes 75% of the deaths related to skin cancer. Chances of survival are high when it is detected in the early stages.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in the cells that produce melanin. Melanin is a pigment that gives colour to the skin.
What are the Symptoms of Melanoma Skin Cancer?
The symptoms of melanoma are as follows:
- Change in an existing mole
- Moles with irregular, scalloped borders
- Moles with uneven colour distribution
- Moles larger than ¼th inch or moles larger than a pencil eraser size
- Moles that are evolving
The moles can evolve in size, shape, colour, elevation etc. Also check if the moles are itching or bleeding.
Generally melanoma affects the people who are exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Melanoma is observed in northern Europeans and northwestern Europeans who live in sunny climates.
Generally melanoma occurs on the surface that is exposed to sun such as back, legs, arms and face. However, melanoma can occur in the soles of the feet, under the fingernails etc. Melanomas that occur in body parts which are not exposed to the sun are called as hidden melanomas.
Melanoma can occur under a toenail, it can develop in the mucous membranes that line the nose, mouth, urinary tract, anus etc. The eye can also get infected by melanoma.
Risk of developing Melanoma Skin Cancer?
The following factors increase the risk of developing melanoma:
- Family history: If your parents, siblings or child has melanoma, you are at an increased risk of developing melanoma.
- Living close to the equator: People who live close to the equator carry increased chances of getting melanoma since the sun rays are more direct at the equator.
- History of sunburn: If you have had sunburns, you are at an increased risk of developing melanoma.
- Excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays: If you are constantly getting exposed to ultraviolet rays, you are at an increased risk of developing melanoma.
- Weak immune system: People having weak immune system are at an increased risk of developing melanoma. The immune system can become weak if a person has HIV/AIDS or when a person has undergone organ transplants.
Cancer from melanoma can spread to other parts of the body. Treatment becomes difficult when cancer spreads to the other body parts from its primary site. Hence melanoma should be treated in the early stages. If you suffer from any of the above symptoms of melanoma, consult a dermatologist online at eVaidya!
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