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Malignant Melanoma - Symptoms and Treatment

Malignant melanoma is a cancer which usually starts in the skin, either in a mole or in normal-looking skin.. It is completely curable when detected early, but can be fatal if allowed to progress and spread. Melanoma is a cancer of the pigment producing cells in the skin, known as melanocytes. Normal melanocytes reside in the outer layer of the skin and produce the brown pigment melanin, which is responsible for the color of our skin. Melanoma is when melanocytes become cancerous, grow, and invade other tissues. About 7000 people in the UK are diagnosed with melanoma each year

Causes of Malignant Melanoma

Common Causes are :

1) Excessive sun exposure

2) Severe blistering sunburns during childhood

3) Ultraviolet radiation used in indoor tanning equipment or Ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This damage the skin. People whose skin burns easily are most at risk of developing melanoma

Symptoms of Malignant Melanoma

Mostly melanomas starts with a change in the appearance of normal skin. This can look like an abnormal new mole. Less than a third develop in existing moles. Melanoma begins on the surface of the skin where it is easily treated. However, if given time to grow, it can eventually grow down into the skin, ultimately reaching the blood and lymphatic vessels, and then spreading around the body, causing a life-threatening illness. Melanoma can occur anywhere on the skin, even in places not directly exposed to sun. However, it is most common on the backs of men and the legs of women.

Treatment of Malignant Melanoma

Firstly a quick look from a dermatologist can confirm whether or not a lesion is suspicious for melanoma there after biospy is done and then that area is examined. Treatment depends on how much deeper is melanoma and after it they are removed surgically along with a wide area of normal-seeming tissue around them. If the melanoma is 1mm thick or less, the survival rate is 90 per cent. In case of malignant melanoma of the choroid of the eye, it is usually necessary to remove the eye Sometimes a small melanoma can be destroyed by photocoagulation or laser treatment.


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