Metastatic Melanoma

Metastatic Melanoma

Metastatic melanoma

     Melanoma develops when the pigment producing cells called melanocytes become abnormal, grow out of control and invade the nearby tissues. Usually only one melanoma develops at a time. Although melanoma can occur on the surface of an existing mole or on other skin tumors, many of them appear on unmarked skin. Melanoma is classified as primary or metastatic.

     Malignant melanoma is a malignant tumor arising from melanocytes. Malignant melanoma of the skin and mucous membranes is higher in white subjects, especially with open skin and blue eyes, than the black subjects, and there is a hereditary factor. It seems however that the essential triggers factor is the excessive sun exposure, especially in the first years of life.

     Melanoma with spontaneous appearance has, generally, a pigmented appearance. The most common melanoma is the one with superficial extension, which is in the form of a small dark brown spots, or yellow polychrome, slightly prominent, with slightly rough surface, with irregular contours. There are other forms of melanoma: nail melanoma and nodular melanoma.

Metastatic melanoma

     Metastatic melanoma spreads through the lymphatic system of the skin in the vicinity of the tumor, of the lymph nodes or by marrow (by blood) to other organs such as brain or liver. Metastatic melanoma usually can not be cured. Early detection and the removal of the primary melanoma before it metastasis gives the best chances of cure.

     Radiation therapy may be used in treatment of advanced melanoma or in treatment of metastatic melanoma. Radiation therapy uses high doses of radiation that destroys or reduces melanoma with violating a small portion of healthy tissue in the vicinity of the tumor. Radiation affects the cells genetic material in the area in which the treatment is applied, resulting in stopping the growth of the cells.

     Other forms of treatment, including therapy with monoclonal antibodies or with vaccines have been studied in clinical trials. No vaccine is currently approved by the international authorities to treat metastatic melanoma.

     Although it is difficult to explain after a simple observation, if a person suffers from metastatic melanoma, in principle we should be worried when moles begin to change their shape, color, diameter or height. Basically, any change of the mole must raise a question mark.

     Also, the itching, the pains, the tingling, the darkness of the skin without prior exposure to the sun or small pieces that break, these all are possible symptoms of metastatic melanoma. Basically, the doctor you must go to is a dermatologist, but a family doctor or a doctor of internal medicine can help you. It is important to consult a doctor immediately you notice a change, and the doctor, if needed, will redirect you to a qualified personnel.

     The good news is that, detected at an early stage, the metastatic melanoma can be cured in about 90% of cases. Precisely for this reason regular visits to dermatologists are recommended.

How to prevent metastatic melanoma?

     First of all, avoid sun exposure during peak hours, and when you sit in the sun, get a cream with a high protection factor.

     Examine your moles monthly - any change, no matter how small, requires a dermatology consultation.

     Go twice a year to a dermatologist, just for a routine check. Changes are not always visible to the eye and thus only a doctor can see them. It is best to go to the same doctor each time.

How to treat metastatic melanoma?

     The melanoma detected in time is treated by surgery in order to remove the affected moles. If the melanoma is in an early stage and has not invaded the nearby tissues, such surgery is enough to remove cancer cells.

     However, if melanoma is in an advanced stage, the chances that he can be treated are small and, more than that, it can extend affecting the bones or other organs.