What is it?
The most common type of cancer in the country is skin cancer, and melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. In general, melanoma and other skin cancers – squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma – form due to negative mutations of skin cell DNA in the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). The spread of these mutations to adjacent cells, particularly when uncontrolled and rapid, raises the risk of malignancy. Melanoma develops when mutations occur in melanocyte cells, which are skin cells located in the bottom layer of the epidermis. Melanomas frequently form in areas that don’t get much sun exposure and often start out as a mole, a large brown spot, or an irregular lesion.
What causes it?
Melanoma can occur regardless of your ethnicity, race, skin type, or skin color. The damage accumulation from years of exposure to the sun’s UV rays is the biggest cause of melanoma. Other causes include a compromised immune system or exposure to toxins, radiation, and other harmful substances Additionally, there are several risk factors associated with melanoma. These risk factors include the following: family history of skin cancer, fair skin, numerous sunburns through the years, sunny climates, locations at high altitude, moles, and precancerous lesions (e.g., actinic keratosis).
If you’ve been diagnosed with melanoma, the following treatment options are very effective: topical medications, superficial radiation therapy (SRT), Mohs micrographic surgery, surgical excision procedure, photodynamic therapy (PDT), cryotherapy, and electrodesiccation and curettage. Not all of these options are available at all offices. Please call to check.
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