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What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is an invasive skin cancer that can be life threatening if not treated. Prevention and early treatment are critical. Symptoms may include a new, unusual growth or a change in an existing mole. Melanomas can occur anywhere on the body. Please know what to look for by reading more below.


What is Melanoma?


Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in the cells that produce melanin, which is responsible for the color of your skin, hair, and eyes. It can appear anywhere on the body, including areas not exposed to the sun.

The signs and symptoms of melanoma may vary depending on the type, size, and location of the tumor. However, the following signs may indicate the presence of melanoma:

  1. A new, unusual-looking mole or growth on the skin

  2. A mole that has changed in size, shape, or color

  3. A mole that has an irregular or asymmetric shape or border

  4. A mole that has different colors or shades, such as black, brown, white, red, or blue

  5. A mole that is larger than a pencil eraser

  6. A mole that is itchy, painful, or bleeds

  7. A spot or sore that does not heal

  8. Dark lines under the nails or on the palms, soles, fingertips, or toes

  9. Swelling, redness, or other unusual skin changes around a mole.


Please note:

It is important to note that not all melanomas have the typical signs and symptoms mentioned above. Some melanomas may not even begin in a mole, but instead may appear as a sore or lump on the skin. If you notice any of the signs or symptoms of melanoma, it is essential to see a dermatologist or other healthcare professional immediately for proper evaluation and treatment.

How is melanoma treated?

The treatment for melanoma depends on the stage and location of the cancer. The stages of melanoma range from 0 to IV, with stage 0 being the earliest and stage IV being the most advanced.

  1. Surgery: Surgery is the primary treatment for melanoma. It involves removing the cancerous cells along with some healthy tissue around it.

  2. Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is a treatment that helps the body's immune system fight the cancer. It is usually used in advanced cases of melanoma.

  3. Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy is a treatment that targets specific genes or proteins that help melanoma cells grow.

  4. Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. It is generally used to treat melanoma that has spread to other parts of the body.

  5. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It is generally used for advanced cases of melanoma.


It is important to detect and diagnose melanoma as early as possible, as it is much easier to treat in its early stages. To help prevent melanoma, it is essential to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays by wearing protective clothing, using sunscreen, and avoiding excessive exposure to the sun.


We suggest yearly skin checks to detect any suspicious moles or changes in the skin. If at anytime you recognize something that just does not seem right don't ignore it, please call our office and schedule an appointment.

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