Clinical Dermatology
Information for Melanoma
Melanoma is a malignant tumor of the skin caused by melanocytic malignancy. It can metastasize in almost every organ of the body and lead to death in a very short time after relapse. It can occur in any part of the body, but more often it occurs on the face and lower extremities.

Today, it is not clear why melanoma occurs. Some risk factors have been identified, but it is not necessary that melanomas occur in any person meeting these factors. The main melanoma risk factors are:
  • Skin type: People with light skin have a higher risk of developing melanoma than people with dark skin. The greatest risk concerns people with red hair and freckles. Melanoma is very rare in dark skin or Asians.
  • Veni: When there are multiple common moles (veni), three or more atypical moles, as well as large relapses, the likelihood of melanoma on the skin is increased.
  • Sun exposure: Prolonged sun exposure without sunscreen increases the risk of developing melanoma. Sunburn significantly increases the risk of developing melanoma, especially sunburn during childhood.
  • Artificial Tanning: Exposure to artificial UV radiation for tan increases the risk of melanoma, especially when it comes before the age of 30.
  • Family history of melanoma
Melanoma usually occurs in a pre-existing mole, but it may also appear from the outset on the skin that has no moles. The diagnosis of melanoma is based on:
  • Clinical examination that checks the asymmetry of its shape, the vague contour, the colour that may vary from one area to the other and its dynamic change over time.
How Is Melanoma Treated?
Since it is essentially cancer, surgical treatment is the main method used to treat melanoma. The doctor uses a scalpel and removes the entire lesion, ensuring healthy limits of the surrounding skin. This is sent to the laboratory to verify that all cancer cells have been removed. Sometimes the cancer cells spread to the surrounding lymph nodes, which are glands that release the secretions of the immune system into the bloodstream. In most cases, it is recommended to remove these lymph nodes in order not to send melanoma cells to other parts of the body.

In advanced melanoma skin cancers, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy are applied. These treatments can slow the progression of the disease, but advanced melanomas are difficult to halt as they are extremely aggressive. As a consequence, recognizing early warning points is the key to saving lives. Of course, the most important thing protecting you from melanoma is to follow the instructions of dermatologists and to protect ourselves primarily from the sun, which is the major factor responsible for the appearance of melanoma on the skin along with heredity.
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