Could it be Melanoma? Common Signs and Symptoms
The thought of getting cancer or seeing it in a family member is not one that people wish to ponder. People picture themselves or their loved ones maybe dying. No one wants to go through that or get that news. Cancer doesn’t care. Cancer doesn’t always follow the patterns it has established. No matter what some people do, no matter how low the chance is, there’s the potential for them to contract cancer. In this case, there’s a specific chance people may get Melanoma.
People who suffer from Melanoma dread that moment when they are first diagnosed. Much as anyone who is told they have cancer does. However, the good news is that Melanoma is treatable. As long as it’s caught early Melanoma can usually be taken care of through surgery before things get worse.
There are many different types of skin cancers. Skin cancer is the generic name of essentially any cancer that ends up damaging or affecting the skin. There are many different types of skin cancer and Melanoma is one of them.
Melanoma is a subtype of skin cancer. In fact, it’s one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer that anyone can ever have. This is because unlike some other skin cancers, Melanoma does not necessarily stay on the skin. It can metastasize and attack other parts of the body. This is what makes things so dangerous.
Typically, the first people to spot Melanoma are not doctors or medical professionals. It is the very people who are afflicted with Melanoma that find their symptoms. There is an alliterative pattern of the symptoms and they are called the ABCDE symptoms. They are as follows:
- A - Asymmetry - Spots on the skin that indicate melanoma are asymmetrical. This means that their shape is not regular and seems to be growing in different ways.
- B - Border Irregularity - Border irregularity means that the growth of the spots may occur from any part of the spot.
- C - Color Changes - Color changes indicate that the spots or moles may change color over time. Additionally they can consist of more than one color at a time. That’s another indication of melanoma.
- D - Diameter - The size and diameter of the spots and moles matter. When the diameter is more than 6mm, then it indicates potential Melanoma. This is roughly the width of a pencil.
- E - Evolving - This simply suggests that moles and spots will continue to change over time. This growth is a sign of cancerous melanoma.
There are multiple viable treatments for Melanoma. The treatments that are chosen depends on the location of the melanoma as well as the severity. Ideally, a minor surgery is capable of handling things when it is early. As things progress there are other options. Radiation and Chemotherapy will typically be treatments for serious cases. Many people also go for immunotherapy or targeted therapies.
Stages of Melanoma
Like many other forms of cancer, Melanoma has multiple stages as it progresses and gets stronger. There are many different stages of Melanoma. This is because stages 1 through 3 have multiple different sub-stages. They share different survival rates. Typically the lower the number and higher the letter the better. Stage 1A has a very high survival rate for example, while Stage 3C is very low.