21 Sep What To Expect if You Have Melanoma
You may have heard that sun exposure can lead to melanoma, but what exactly is it? Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. When skin cells are damaged by the sun or tanning beds, they can cause genetic defects that cause malignant tumors to form in the skin.
Melanomas come from moles or cause them, so if you suddenly develop a suspicious-looking mole, you may have melanoma and should have it assessed by a dermatologist. Melanomas are primarily brown or black but can present themselves in other colors as well.
Melanoma results in fatality for more than 10,000 people every year. The good news is that it can be cured if caught early. Therefore, quick treatment is vital. If you have been diagnosed with this form of skin cancer, read on to find out what to expect.
Stages of Melanoma
Treatment will depend on the stage of the melanoma. There are four stages of this cancer, and it is measured by the size of cancer as well as how far it has spread.
Stage 0 melanomas have not yet penetrated the skin. At the Stage I level, the melanoma has gone below the surface of the skin, but is small and growing slowly. Stage II melanomas are considered intermediate. They are larger and growing a bit faster, but still localized. At Stages III and IV, the melanomas are growing quickly and spreading to other parts of the body.
Melanoma Treatment Options
Treating the melanoma involves removing it altogether. This is most commonly done by cutting it out – surgical excision. Smaller melanomas can be extracted as an outpatient procedure.
Tissue samples are taken to a lab for assessment. If any cancer cells remain, the next step may be Mohs surgery. This involves removing cancer cells layer by layer until none remain.
If the melanoma is in its advanced stages and has spread throughout the body, chemotherapy and radiation are often used. Targeted therapies may help increase lifespan as well.
Treat Melanoma With Help From Spectrum Dermatology in Scottsdale
Learning that you have melanoma or some other form of skin cancer can be scary to hear. Let the skin experts at Spectrum Dermatology alleviate your fears. Our Scottsdale dermatologists offer treatment methods that can help beat this cancer and make your skin healthy again. Give us call at (480) 948-8400 to schedule a consultation.