Malignant Melanomas are usually small brown-black or larger multicolored patches, plaques or nodules with irregular outline. They may crust on the surface or bleed. Many of them may arise in pre-existing moles.
Squamous Call Carcinoma: Many cancers of the head and neck begin as what is known as squamous cell carcinoma. In this case, the usual treatment consists of primary excision of the lesion, with reconstruction, when necessary.
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a type of cancer that begins in melanocytes (cells that make the pigment melanin). Melanoma can also start in the eye, the intestines, or other areas of the body with pigmented tissues.
Often the first sign of melanoma is a change in the shape, color, size, or feel of an existing mole. However, melanoma may also appear as a new mole. People should tell their doctor if they notice any changes on the skin. The only way to diagnose melanoma is to remove tissue and check it for cancer cells.Prevention
Melanoma is one of the fastest-growing types of cancer — and one of the most serious. Accounting for only about 4 percent of all cases of skin cancer, it is the least common. But it’s the most deadly. It causes 79 percent of skin cancer deaths, according to the the American Cancer Society. Race is the primary risk factor for developing melanoma, with fair-skinned races at greater risk than darker-skinned races. In the United States, whites are 20 times more likely to develop melanoma than African-Americans.
Sun Safety Tips:
- Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, with an SPF 30 or higher, liberally and frequently. Remember that sunless tanning products do not contain enough sunscreen to be protective.
- Sunbathers: Exposure to the sun for long periods can increase your risk of developing a skin cancer dramatically, especially during the sun’s peak hours of 10 am – 3 pm.
- Avoid Tanning Beds and Sun Lamps: There is no safe type of UV radiation. These devices also can impair vision and age the skin prematurely.
Check/Examine Your Skin: Do you have a funny-looking mole or a history of skin cancer in your family? Melanoma can appear anywhere on the skin’s surface – even on normal-appearing skin.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends: Everyone practice a head-to-toe self-examination of their skin once a month to look for any new or changing areas. Most people can follow the ABCDEs of melanoma:
- A: Asymmetric
- B: Borders that are irregular
- C: Color that is unusual or varied
- D: Diameter more than 6mm, or the size of a pencil eraser
- E: Evolving or changing moles
People with ethnic skin tones, these rules may not apply. People of color may develop melanoma in different spots, including the eyelids, nails, genitals and in the mouth. Other potential warning signs of skin cancer include: A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed An open sore that does not heal within three weeks.