What is melanoma?


Know the basics

What is melanoma?

Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, develops by the disorder of the cells (melanocytes) that produce melanin — the pigment that gives your skin its color. Most melanomas appear as new moles, some start from a mole already present. Melanoma starts in the mole, spreads nearby and then deeper into the skin, into veins and lymph nodes and finally into the liver, brain, lungs, and bones.

How common is melanoma?

The risk of melanoma seems to be increasing in people under 40, especially women. You can minimize the chance of having hernias by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of melanoma?

Symptoms of melanoma may include:

  • Irregular border of moles
  • The moles getting larger
  • The moles’ color changes
  • The moles are broken and bleeding
  • Swollen glands
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bone pain ( when melanoma spreads to bones)
  • Headache
  • Seizures
  • Visual problem (when melanoma spreads to brain)

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You should call your doctor if:

  • Seeing mole spread and darken.
  • The color of the mole or dark spots on the skin turn red or black skin around the dark spots turns brown.
  • Moles are discharge, bleeding or ulcers.

Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Know the causes

What causes melanoma?

The causes of melanoma include:

  • Ultraviolet rays from sunlight or ultraviolet light disorder the creating process of melanin.
  • Genetic mutation

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for melanoma?

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing melanoma:

  • Severe sunburn
  • Having fair skin
  • Freckle skin
  • Use skin dye
  • A family history of melanoma
  • Weak immune system

Not having risk factors does not mean you cannot get hamstring strains. These factors are for reference only. You should consult your doctor for more details.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is melanoma diagnosed?

Some diagnosis tests of melanoma include:

  • Consider the shape, size and color of the mole.
  • Skin biopsy.
  • Lymph nodes biopsy.
  • X-ray, computed tomography (CT) head and bones.

How is melanoma treated?

For early stages, doctor may do a surgery to remove the skin cancer and some surrounding area. How much skin is removed depends on how deep the melanoma has grown.

If the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, these lymph nodes may also be removed. After surgery, you may receive a medicine called interferon.

If the melanoma has spread to other organs, surgery, radiation, chemotheraphy, and immunotheraphy help symptoms but usually do not cure it.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage melanoma?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with melanoma:

  • Re-examine punctually to keep track on the disease’s progress and your health condition.
  • Follow doctor’s instruction
  • Avoid tanning booths
  • Do skin self-examination at least once monthly. Look at all moles on your body or any new moles that have developed
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) more than 30, which provides the best protection

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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