What You Need to Know About Melanoma

Treatment of skin cancer

Skin cancer is a scary business, and if you aren’t paying attention to the signs it can result in death. Melanoma is the most severe form of skin cancer, but it is highly curable if detected early. Characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells, if left to late detection melanoma spreads to lymph nodes and internal organs, resulting in death.

The first thing you need to know when it comes to protecting yourself is knowing how much of a risk you have. For example if you have large moles, more than 50 moles, and/or atypical moles, you have a substantially higher risk of developing melanoma. About one in five Americans get skin cancer during their lifetime, so it’s important that you pay attention to your body and report anything you find unusual to a dermatologist. Dermatology research has made treatment for skin cancer easier and more comprehensive, so if you are treated early, you can save your life.

The are no clear-cut causes of melanoma. Though doctors firmly believe that UV rays from tanning beds, lamps, or the sun are the cause, environmental and genetic factors may also play a part. Prevention of melanoma is simple: wear sunscreen, avoid the sun during the middle of the day as much as possible, and be familiar with your own skin.

Skin cancer treatment options vary depending on the severity of the disease. If detected early enough, surgery can remove the affected mole and therefore, the cancer. If it has started to spread, there are numerous other skin cancer treatment methods. One is chemotherapy, which attacks the cells affected. Another option is a combination of psoralen and ultraviolet radiation called PUVA treatments.

Dermatology research has made a huge difference in the treatment of skin cancer. Know your body and get tested if you think something may be wrong. Early detection is key to your treatment and life after melanoma.

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