Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among Americans. Melanoma is a skin cancer which progresses faster compared to other types of skin cancers. Most Americans are not completely aware of this deadly disease, which is perhaps one of the reasons why there is such a high rate of incidence.
Early Detection and Prevention
Melanoma of the skin can be successfully cured if tracked early. A simple mole on any part of the body can be an early sign. Do not take it for granted that it is a new beauty spot and as soon as you find it, visit a specialist and let him diagnose it.
Self examination is a must every month to look out for the pattern of moles and the changes in its size. Your scalp and back are the hardest area for self examination. So it would be better to get help from a friend or the doctor.
One can prevent melanoma by following a few basic steps. It is advised to use sunscreen lotion liberally several times a day if you are exposed to sun for a long time. A check up at the first detection of a mole in a clinic can easily prevent further spreading of melanoma.
Causes of Melanoma
1. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
2. Exposure to sun for a long time.
3. Fair skin that freckles and tends to sunburn.
4. Large mole since birth or due to burning.
5. Numerous moles on any body part.
6. Genetics is also an important factor that can contribute to melanoma.
7. Changes in genes.
Treatment of Melanoma
Learning about the risk of sun exposure is the basic way to prevent Melanoma skin cancer. But, if you are already suffering from the disease, the best treatment advised by doctors is surgery. Early diagnosed melanomas are easy to cure and treat. However those in the later stages are difficult to treat. Depending on the size, age, thickness, body location and many other considerations, treatment is advised. In advanced stages you might need treatments like immunotherapy.
Important Facts of Melanoma
1. Genetics most important and commonly known risk factor. Checking up with members of the family about the condition is important in detecting melanoma.
2. Thirty percent of male patients have melanoma growth on the back. Awareness is important and it is necessary to check well for any changes in the moles like changes in coloring or size.
3. There are many types of melanoma skin cancers. A doctor is the right person to find out the type of melanoma the patient has.
4. Melanoma can occur at any age; however, it is mostly found in age group 25 to 29.
5. Overexposure to sunrays can contribute to the disease. Sunbathing poses a higher risk. Use of sunscreen before going outdoors is advised.
6. Melanoma is at the root of almost 5% of all skin cancers. Around 71% of people suffering from skin cancer die because of it. Studies prove that nearly one in every 50 Americans may suffer from melanoma.
7. No significant advanced treatment has been found in the last 3 decades.
8. Melanoma cases increase by around 3% every year. Around 63,000 cases are diagnosed yearly and nearly 8,000 deaths have occurred.
9. Awareness is important. You have to check the moles on every part of the body and study the changes in size, the coloring of the mole, the spreading of the mole etc.
10. Early detection is important as it can help cure the disease completely.
11. Compared to women, men are more susceptible to melanoma.
12. Melanoma can occur in any racial group or skin color (Brown, white or black).
The best way to prevent the disease is to limit sun exposure, do regular self-examinations and wear sunscreen before going outdoors. If you notice any changes in the skin, consult your physician immediately.
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