Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and the rate of incidences continues to rise at a rate faster than other common cancers. Melanoma starts in the pigment- producing skin cells (melanocytes) which grow uncontrollably, become abnormal and aggressively invade the surrounding tissues. The suspicious characteristics a melanoma may take on are: asymmetric (one side of the mole is not the same as the other side), border (irregular notched borders), color (speckled with light and dark areas) and diameter (usually larger than 6 mm). If it is not treated early, it can spread to other organs and can be fatal. If you sunburn, you increase your risk of developing a melanoma. The most important advice is never sunburn and use sun protectors with an SPF of 30 or greater. Heredity plays a significant role in that if a first-degree relative (mother, father, sibling or children) have had a melanoma then there is a 50% greater chance of developing a melanoma. If melanomas are found early, they are easily curable.
Treatment Options: Melanoma is initially treated by surgically removing the cancerous area. If cancer is progressed, then other extensive treatment options are used.