March 25, 2021
Acquiring sun-kissed skin is an obsession that leads many Americans to hours of sunbathing or to tanning beds that guarantee to reproduce the most sought-after bronzed look. However, very few people are aware of the heinous side effects of overexposure to UV radiation, one of which is a heightened susceptibility to a skin carcinoma called Melanoma. For each hour in a day there is one melanoma-related death in the country, a statistic so scary that it should be enough to wake us all up to the life-threatening nature of this disease.
In this blog post, we will share detailed information about melanoma skin cancer and explain the ABCDE method to detect this disease early. Read on to learn more.
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Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that often turns out to be deadly if not detected and treated early. It usually appears as a dark, irregularly shaped mole or spot on the skin that can occur anywhere on the body. According to researchers, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds is the biggest risk factor for developing melanoma.
Healthcare providers recommend using the ABCDE rule to identify potential signs of melanoma. The following are a few distinct characteristics that differentiate between a melanoma-related mole and a regular one.
Regular moles are usually symmetrical, meaning if a person is to draw a line through the middle, both halves would appear similar. Melanoma-related moles, on the other hand, may have an irregular shape or appear asymmetrical.
Regular moles typically have smooth, well-defined borders. Melanoma-related moles often have irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined edges. The border of melanoma may appear blurred or exhibit notches.
Regular moles usually have a single color, such as brown, tan, or black. Melanoma-related moles can exhibit color variation or have uneven pigmentation. Individuals may notice shades of brown, black, red, white, or blue within the same mole.
Regular moles are typically smaller in size, with most being less than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser). Melanoma-related moles are often larger. However, it is crucial to remember that not all melanomas are large, and the sizes of the mole may differ for every individual.
Regular moles tend to remain relatively stable over time. Melanoma-related moles may change in size, shape, color, or elevation very quickly or over a longer period of time. Any new symptoms, such as itching, bleeding, or crusting, should also be taken into consideration.
Although the ABCDE rule is considered a useful tool, it does not confirm a diagnosis. Therefore, it is crucial to look for other signs, such as the presence of a new mole, a mole that stands out from others, or any mole that looks different from the rest, and consult a healthcare professional.
There are several factors that should be considered to determine the treatment options for melanoma skin cancer. Following are some of the most common treatment options:
Surgical procedure to excise the cancerous growth
Immunotherapy to give a boost to the body’s immune mechanism to target cancer cells
Chemotherapy to chemically annihilate errant cells.
Radiotherapy targets abnormally growing cells using strong rays.
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The most effective way of keeping the specter of melanoma away from you and your family is to prevent prolonged sun exposure. Staying outside in the sun for hours should be avoided.
Individuals must use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher throughout the year, especially on the bare body part.
If you are going to be out and about in the sun, at least ensure that you are wearing sunglasses and a hat to prevent excessive sunburn.
Keep away from synthetic tanning machines as well as sun lamps. These devices produce both UVA and UVB radiation that may increase your risk of melanoma.
The ABCDE rule helps detect the early signs of melanoma to protect their skin health. Early detection can help in getting prompt medical attention, leading to more effective treatment options and improved outcomes. Regular self-examinations and annual skin checks by a dermatologist are essential to prevent the progression of this skin cancer.
Individuals experiencing any significant changes in their moles or skin lesions should consult a healthcare professional at the earliest for further evaluation. For any queries or concerns about melanoma skin cancer, contact ACTC, one of the best cancer treatment centers in Florida.