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Most of the time, the melanoma develops on the skin to exacerbate into malicious growths. It is usually seen on the skin surface, which if detected early, can be treated before metastasizing. Check-up needs to be conducted if there is an unusual discoloration or growths on the existing moles on the skin. Make sure to consult your dermatologist or primary care physician to discuss the growth and diagnose melanoma. When your body gives any such warning, it is time to head to the best doctor in town.
How Do the Normal Moles Appear?
Every flat or raised, evenly colored black, tan, or brown spots on the skin can be categorized as normal moles. They are usually less than 6 millimetres in size, which may keep growing from birth. Some of these marks also appear during young adulthood or childhood. Any new moles that appear at a later stage in life has to be checked. While some moles fade away, others will stay the same for your entire lifetime. Although almost all moles are harmless, you need to be cautious about the ones that develop unusually faster and have a varied shape, size, and color. Such signs could be suggesting the development of melanoma in your body. Here are some of the symptoms and signs of melanoma that need to be paid close attention to when occurring in large amounts.
Signs and Symptoms
As mentioned earlier, a new spot that keeps changing in shape, color, and size can be a warning sign of melanoma. Spots that look different from every other mark on your skin can also be considered as a serious sign of a looming melanoma. Have your skin checked if you have any such spots on your skin. An ABCDE rule exists to define the signs of melanoma, and it is an important list to check if you have suspicions.
- ‘A’ stands for ‘Asymmetry’, and it is the state in which one half of your birthmark or mole becomes less similar to the other half.
- ‘B’ stands for ‘Border’. Moles that have notched, blurred, ragged, or irregular edges come under this category.
- ‘C’ is for ‘Color’. In this condition, the color of the skin may have different shades of black or brown, and in some cases, patches of red, blue, white, or pink also appear.
- ‘D’ is for ‘Diameter’. Although melanomas can be of different sizes, this symptom is categorized as the spot that is larger than 6 millimetres.
- ‘E’ stands for ‘Evolving’. This is the most apparent sign of melanoma in a human body. Color, size, and shape of the mole keep changing through different stages of development.
Since some melanomas may not conform to these rules, you need to have a list of other signs that are likely to hint you about the development.
- Any sores that do not heal
- Surrounding skin of a spot being pigmented due to the spread
- New swelling or redness at the border of the mole
Pain, tenderness, or itchiness over the surface of the mole
Skin cancer can be of different types, but the most dangerous one is surely melanoma that develops in the epidermis of the skin. The melanocyte cells in the epidermis are affected by the multiplication of these cells, which if, goes on to meet uncontrollable levels, can affect the largest organ of your body adversely. All nearby tissues can be destroyed by growing cancer, and it can also spread to many other parts of the body. Other names of the cancer are malignant melanoma and cutaneous melanoma of the skin. As the cancerous bodies attack the pigment lending cells in your skin, discoloration of skin and formation of patches can occur. Melanoma skin cancer is classified into 4 types- nodular, superficial spreading, acral lentiginous, and lentigo maligna.
1. Superficial Spreading Melanoma
Of all melanoma skin cancers, superficial spreading melanoma is the most commonly occurring one. Around 70% of all melanoma skin cancers are made up by this type. Superficial spreading melanoma usually grows outward to spread across the skin surface. Vertical growth can also happen in the case of superficial spreading melanoma. It has an uneven border with a flat and thin growth on the skin. Superficial spreading melanoma can, in some cases, develop from a mole that already exists on the skin, and it could have various colors as well. Blue, brown, grey, black, and red are the common colors in which these moles appear on the skin.
2. Nodular Melanoma
Around 15-20% of all melanoma skin cancers are nodular melanoma, making it the second most common type. This grows and spreads much faster than the other types of melanoma skin cancer, and it develops its structure down into the skin. A raised growth that protrudes from the skin in the shape of a mushroom with a stem is the sign of this type of cancer. It could be of different colors; it usually appears in black, but it could also be pink, red, or the same color of your skin.
3. Lentigo Maligna Melanoma
Older people are most likely to fall prey to this cancer, which makes up around 10-155 of all melanoma skin cancers. A large, flat tan or brown patch that grows with an uneven border is the sign of lentigo maligna melanoma. It could have several shades of black or brown, which gets darker as it develops. What starts off as a growth in the outer layer of the epidermis will grow outward across the skin surface. This could go on for years before which the growth will start to develop down into the skin.
4. Acral lentiginous Melanoma
This type of melanoma most commonly appears in the dark-skinned people. Although it makes up only 5% of all melanoma skin cancers, it is common in certain parts of the world. Discolored skin with a flat spot that grows darker with time is the sign of the acral lentiginous melanoma. This type of cancer also grows like the lentigo maligna melanoma. It is usually seen on the palms of hands, under the nails, and on the soles of the feet.
Have you heard of a peculiar skin condition that develops into deadly cancer? Melanoma is that type of skin cancer which develops on various parts of your body when the cells that impart tan to your skin start growing beyond a controllable limit. The melanocytes could go on to be erratic if the skin cancer takes its initial form and spreads over time. Of all skin cancers that have been listed in the medical records, melanoma is said to be the least common one. And that also makes this form of cancer deadlier because it could keep spreading all over your body if not diagnosed and treated at the right time.
More About Skin Cancers
Epidermis falls prey to the first attack of skin cancers, and all three types of cells in this layer can get affected badly. The squamous cells are the flat cells that are present on the upper part of the epidermis. It keeps shedding over time when the new one forms. Basal cells constitute the lower part of the epidermis, and they keep dividing to form new cells that replace the squamous cells. These then move up over the epidermis to become the flat squamous cells. Melanocytes make the brown pigment for the skin and protect the deeper layers of the skin from any harmful effect of the sun. The basement membrane is the layer that separates the epidermis from the deeper layers. These barriers are damaged when skin cancer grows through them to become highly advanced.
Melanoma Skin Cancers
Also known as cutaneous melanoma and malignant melanoma, this type of cancer starts developing in the melanocytes. Most melanoma tumors would be black or brown because the cells keep producing melanin. When this production is hindered by cancer, the melanomas can appear as tan, white, or pink spots. Although melanoma can develop anywhere on the skin, the torso is the part of the body where this type of cancer is likely to appear first. Other common sites of melanoma are the face and the neck. Melanoma may not affect these common sites in the darkly pigmented skin.
However, they can see signs of development on the soles of the feet, under the nails, or on the palm. Melanoma of the skin is the most commonly occurring one, but it can also form in other parts of the body such as eyes, genitals, mouth, and anus. The most benign form of skin tumor that develops from melanocytes is a mole, a spot that almost everyone has from birth. Although many of the moles are harmless, some can appear as a sign to the development of melanoma skin cancer. Spitz nevus is a type of mole that is likely to form on the bodies of children and teens, and it resembles melanoma. In most cases, these tumors do not spread and stay benign. However, even doctors find it difficult to identify these; so, it is better to be removed to be on the safer side.
Most of the time, the melanoma develops on the skin to exacerbate into malicious growths. It is usually seen on the skin surface, which if detected early, can…