Amongst the many forms of cancer, skin cancer continues to rise in the ranks of the most frequently diagnosed cancers. As opposed to non-melanoma skin cancer (which is a localized form of the disease), melanoma cancer can undergo metastasis and spread to multiple regions within the body. This article will run through the various signs and symptoms that are commonly displayed by those with melanoma skin cancer.
How does melanoma cancer develop?
Cancer develops through the process of cells undergoing division (mitosis), on a scale that is incredibly fast and uncontrolled. The mass of tissue created through this process is known as a malignant (cancerous) tumor. With non-melanoma skin cancer, the tumor and spread of the disease is limited. However, in the case of melanoma skin cancer, the disease can reach multiple areas of the body and travel through the lymph or bloodstream. This advantage in terms of mobility makes melanoma the much more deadly form of skin cancer when compared with the effects of non-melanoma. This is partly due to a greater degree of difficulty in the detection of the cancer’s origin and working out which area to target for treatment. Chemo drugs that work in the bloodstream may be the most effective way of treating this form of skin cancer. Skin cancer develops from a high rate of exposure to UV radiation. This can be from the sun or man-made sources.
What are the symptoms of melanoma?
Similarly to non-melanoma skin cancer, a common sign of melanoma skin cancer is the alteration in the appearance of a beauty spot or body mole. Common locations for these moles can include the legs, face and on the rear of the legs, however, they have the ability to develop anywhere that is frequently exposed to the sun.
Melanoma tumors are often not regular in shape, and their color can vary in comparison to other ordinary and non-cancerous moles. They may bleed easily or feel itchy.
Melanoma happens when some cells in the skin begin to develop abnormally. It is thought that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from natural or artificial sources may be partly responsible.
What are the risk factors associated with melanoma?
Below there is a list of the risk factors that may increase your chances of developing melanoma skin cancer:
· Having fair hair – blonde or red in color
· Having multiple beauty marks or moles
· Having fair or pale skin that will burn easily
Remember that anyone can get melanoma irrespective to the color of their skin!