ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Melanoma: Signs and Pictures

Updated on July 19, 2013

Melanoma is responsible for about 7800 deaths in the United States each year, and is known as the deadliest skin cancer. Often, the signs and symptoms of melanoma can be easily missed. Many people are not even aware if they have several risk factors for melanoma. This is why melanoma can be so dangerous. If an individual is not aware that they have a greater risk of developing melanoma, the symptoms of melanoma are more likely to be overlooked. This can allow the melanoma enough time to spread to the lymph nodes and various other parts of the body, which can be fatal.

Risk Factors

  • caucasion
  • fair skinned
  • males are more likely to develop melanoma
  • sunburns
  • regular exposure to the suns rays
  • previous intense exposure to UV rays
  • a family hisotry of melanoma
  • several moles

Causes

It states on www.cancer.org that “We do not yet know exactly what causes melanoma skin cancer. But we do know that certain risk factors are linked to this disease. A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be controlled. Others, like a person's age or family history, can't be changed.

But risk factors don't tell us everything. Having a risk factor, or even several risk factors, does not mean that you will get the disease. And many people who get the disease may not have any known risk factors. Even if a person with melanoma has a risk factor, it is often very hard to know how much that risk factor may have contributed to the cancer.”

Signs And Symptoms

The main symptoms of melanoma that individuals should look for is any change in a mole, freckle, or spot on their body. This could be any change, such as a mole is now elevated, and it wasn't before. Changes in color and the size should also be noted. Some areas may begin to leak some kind of fluid, or suddenly be very itchy. If you notice any change at all, it is best to get it looked at by a physician. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it is much better to be safe than sorry.

The border of a mole can also be a sign as to whether or not it is melanoma
The border of a mole can also be a sign as to whether or not it is melanoma | Source

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of melanoma first consists of going to your physician. After the physician first looks at the area you are concerned about, they can then refer you to a specialist that will do what is called a biopsy to determine if you have melanoma. There are multiple different kinds of biopsies that can be performed. In large part, it depends on where the area of skin is, and what the symptoms are. Also, more biopsies may need to be performed if there is a concern that the melanoma has spread to other areas of the body.

This is a great website that explains that different kinds of biopsies your doctor may perform.

http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/SkinCancer-Melanoma/DetailedGuide/melanoma-skin-cancer-diagnosed

Treatment

The primary form of treatment for melanoma is surgery. This form of treatment is used to treat melanoma at any stage. Other forms of treatment used include:radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy (this helps boost the patients immune system, helping it to better fight the cancer.)

Although people usually associate skin cancer, such as melanoma, with tanning, it can happen to anyone. Tanning may increase your risk factor due to the exposure to UV rays, but it is also not a guarentee that you will get melanoma. If you are at a high risk for melanoma, be aware of what to look for, and seek a physician if you notice any symptoms.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Christian Arnau 

      2 years ago

      One very scary topic but not as bad as being uninformed. thanks again.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)