Melanoma – how to prevent, recognize and treat this skin cancer?

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Summer time, along with resting and being outdoors, is also a time when you have to take special care of your skin's health. Equally, it is important to limit exposure to the sun's rays during the hottest hours of the day and protect yourself from direct exposure to the sun.

We also recommend regular check-ups with a dermatologist, in order to detect any changes your skin is experiencing in a timely manner. Melanoma is certainly among the changes that are vitally important to detect in time.

Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that begins in cells known as melanocytes. Although it is less common than some other types of cancer, melanoma is more dangerous because of its ability to spread more quickly to other organs if not treated at an early stage.

In the rest of the article, read everything about melanoma, risk factors, causes, signs you should not miss and treatment.

What are melanocytes?
Melanocytes are skin cells located in the upper layer of the skin. They produce a pigment known as melanin, which gives the skin its color. There are two types of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Exposing the skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds causes skin damage that triggers melanocytes to produce more melanin, but only the pigment eumelanin tries to protect the skin by causing the skin to darken or darken.
Melanoma occurs because DNA damage due to excessive exposure to the sun or tanning due to UV radiation triggers changes (mutations) in melanocytes, resulting in uncontrolled cell growth.
Melanomas come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. This makes it difficult to list a comprehensive set of warning signs. However, you should keep in mind that melanoma is curable if it is recognized and treated in time. When melanoma spreads deeper into the skin and other parts of the body, it is difficult to control and can be fatal.
What are the risk factors for developing melanoma?
Skin cancers like melanoma have damaged DNA (mutations) in the skin cells which leads to uncontrolled growth of those cells. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or solarium damage DNA in skin cells. Our immune system manages to repair some of this damage, but not all.
Over time, remaining DNA damage can lead to mutations that cause skin cancer. Many other factors also play a role in increasing the risk of melanoma, including genetics (family history), skin type or color, hair color, freckles, and the number of moles on the body.
Understanding what causes melanoma and whether you are at high risk of developing the disease can help you prevent or detect it early when it is easiest to treat and cure the disease.madez

Warning signs you should not ignore and diagnostics
In the case of melanoma, the importance of timely and early detection is extremely important for a greater chance of successful treatment.

Therefore, examine your skin regularly and pay attention to any changes, new moles or changes to existing ones, especially after sun exposure. Also, if you notice any changes, visit a specialist dermatologist and ask for an examination.

In case of suspicion of melanoma, a specialist dermatologist sends a tissue sample for biopsy, where the presence of cancer cells is determined.

After establishing the diagnosis and determining the type of melanoma, the next step is determining the degree of the disease, which requires additional diagnostics. Based on this finding, the doctor can determine the extent of the melanoma, and accordingly determine the method of treatment.

Treatment of melanoma
Although melanoma is one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer, promising new treatment options are improving quality of life and increasing survival rates for patients with advanced melanoma.
In the case of a diagnosed melanoma, the doctor determines the method of treatment according to the stage of the disease, the place of development of the melanoma, but also the general state of health of the affected person:
Treatment options include:
Surgical removal of melanoma
Targeted therapy
Avoid direct exposure to the sun and tanning beds, and regularly do a self-examination of your skin. Respond to any changes, new birthmarks or changes in existing ones by visiting a doctor and a specialist dermatologist.
In the case of melanoma (as well as any other malignant disease) a timely reaction is the most important step in treatment and cure. Skin is our largest organ and treat it with care and caution.

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