Malignant Melanoma

Malignant Melanoma

Malignant melanoma

     Malignant melanoma is a cancer that usually arises from the skin, which is clinically normal, or from its changes at this level. Rarely, it can arise in other parts of the body such as eyes, mouth, underneath the nail or to the internal organs level. Sometimes it spread to other parts of the body through lymphatic way or through blood flow path. Malignant melanoma may also spread to the skin level. If there is evidence that its incidence is growing, malignant melanoma is still a rare type of cancer.

There are four main types of malignant melanoma:

  • The malignant melanoma with superficial dissemination - this is the most common type of malignant melanoma;
  • Nodular melanoma - is usually black and can grow quite quickly;
  • Lentigo malignant - this type of malignant melanoma is more common on the face, especially to the elderly. It has a slow growth and its development can take years.
  • Acral malignant melanoma - is often seen on the hands and around the nails.

     Although malignant melanoma can affect many parts of the body, the most common location is the legs in women, and in men is frequently meet in the upper body, especially on the back.

What causes lead to malignant melanoma?

     There is clear evidence that solar radiation can damage the skin and can cause melanoma. The persons whose skin is "burning easily" have the highest risk - in a typical manner the people with lighter skin, blond or red hair and blue eyes.

     Although malignant melanoma is very rare in childhood, children and adults who are over exposed to the sun and suffer severe burns present an increased risk to develop malignant melanoma later. The disease is most common in women, especially between 40 and 60 years. The incidence of malignant melanoma and of the skin cancer increases in direct proportion to the frequency of exposure to sunlight (during holidays, those who work in the sun or those who practice outdoor sports). Rarely, melanoma can occur in people who were not exposed to excessive sun, in these cases due to a genetic or family tendency to develop the disease.

     Unfortunately, the use of artificial UV radiation is associated with an increased risk of skin cancers and melanoma. Other factors that increase the risk of malignant melanoma are: exposure to chemicals or certain physical agents (non solar ultraviolet radiation, ionizing radiation, trauma, burns).

What are the symptoms of malignant melanoma?

     If malignant melanoma develops from the pigmentation nerves and one can notice their modification, it may include any of the following:

  • Change in size: the nerve can become more prominent and may spread to the skin surrounding the nerve;
  • Changing shape: most pigmentation nerve have a regular border, well defined, but a malignant melanoma has irregular edges, imprecise;
  • Change in color: the mole may swell or develop a reddish edge. It may become dark or have different colors.
  • Itching, bleeding, formation of scabs: these are the least common signs, but should not be ignored.

     In case of occurrence of any unusual signs in the skin, changes that lasts more than several weeks, or if there is some of the signs above, you should see the doctor. Very little nervous pigment is transformed into malignant melanoma, but these changes should be detected early, because, as the diagnostic is early, the treatment is more successful. Early excision of suspicious lesions may lead to prevention of this disease that would otherwise be fatal.

Prevention measures against malignant melanoma:

  • Always avoid sun exposure of young children;
  • Wear clothes of natural fibers (cotton, flax), preferably of light colors;
  • Wear sunglasses and hats when the sun is powerful;
  • Avoid sun exposure during the day, between the hours 11 o'clock and 16 o'clock;
  • Do not allow the "burning skin" by solar radiation;
  • Use protective creams, follow the manufacturer's instructions and reapply as often as needed, especially after entering the water;
  • Avoid trauma, the burns of the pigmented nevi.