Health Tips for Seniors

About Malignant Melanoma, its Causes and Symptoms

Though not as common as basal and squamous carcinomas, malignant melanoma is much more serious. Here the tumor develops from the deeper layers of the skin that have pigment producing cells called melanocytes. They gather together and form moles on our skin. Though most moles are benign fifty percent of them are connected to moles. These oddly shaped moles are called dysplastic nevi and fore runners to skin cancer.

Melanoma can start with an oddly shaped mole as well as with a brown or black freckle type spot on the surface of the skin. The colors could be red, white or blue. The spot on the skin will be changing.The four types of melanomas, mainly, vary from one another in their characteristics. Superficial spreading melanoma the most common type affects women often and is about two things of all melanomas diagnosed. It can surface as a new spot or the existing one will grow irregularly. It is asymmetrical generally.

The second is Acral lentiginous melanoma with dark skinned people the spots having a flat dark surface with raised bumpy dark brown or black spot. They are all on the soles of the feet, the palms of the hands, the mucous membranes, or the nail beds of the toes or fingers.When the underlying skin tissue is affected first without surfacing on the skin, it is Nodular Melanoma. It is more frequent in men than women. The lumps or lesions on the skin will look like blood blisters, with varying white and blue black colors This cancer can metastasize and spread to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body.

Lentigo maligna melanoma shows lesions on the sun exposed areas of the body like the face, ear or neck. This is because of a very long exposure to the sun and occurs rarely before the age of fifty. A non cancerous lentigo maligna appears before it and warns us of its attack. Women are more affected with this than men.

Over exposure to the suns UV rays causes malignant melanoma. There is also high risk when exposed to tanning booths. Essentially these rays spoil the genetic material that generates cells causing tissue damage. The cells repair system is changed making it vulnerable to cancer of the skin.Genetic factors cause vulnerability as the cells lose the power of repairing themselves. They have greater than the average number of mole and run the very high risk of contracting skin cancers. Finally early detection, awareness and treatment are the key factors always.

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