What is Melanoma?

Most people know that skin cancer is unsafe and should be prevented. However, there is also a misconception that all skin cancers can be cured by simply removing a mole. For melanoma, treatment is much more extensive and death much more possible.

melanomaMelanoma is skin cancer involves uncontrolled growth of the cells that produce your skin’s pigment. Melanomas pop up quickly and can spread quickly.  Melanomas are typically found on areas prone to sun exposure including the face, neck, back and legs.

Melanoma can run in your family or be caused by immune-suppression. The most common cause of melanoma is sun and tanning bed exposure.  Did you know that just one visit to a tanning bed can greatly increase your risk for melanoma?

If left untreated malignant melanoma can invade your organs and lead to death.  The most important thing that you can do to prevent melanoma is to protect your skin from the dangerous UV rays of the sun.

In order to quickly identify potential melanomas it is important to keep an eye on your skin.  Melanoma generally appears as a flat, black or brown spot on the skin. Melanomas have irregular borders and appear larger than a nickel.  If you notice any of these characteristics or sudden changes in your existing moles, visit your dermatologist immediately.

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