Melanoma: Fatalities Can Drop Through Early Detection

Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. In fact, more than 75% of all skin cancer deaths are attributed to melanoma, making it a major health concern. It is currently the sixth most common form of cancer in the country, and the number one cancer affecting young adults in the 25 to 29 age group.

Early Detection is Important

When melanoma is detected in its earliest stages, the rate of death is significantly reduced. The risk of fatality from melanoma is related to the depth of the cancer. The depth of the cancer is related to the time it has been allowed to grow, making early detection imperative.

Studies and clinical experiences have shown that patients have an important role in detecting possible melanomas. Many melanomas are first detected through self-examination and so it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of possible melanomas.

Symptoms of Melanoma

The symptoms can vary from individual to individual, so if you feel that you may have any of these signs or symptoms, it is important that you contact your doctor immediately. As not all melanomas and skin cancers fall into these symptoms, use this list as a guideline:

  • Changes of the skin, including a new spot/mole or changes in a current mole
  • A spot, sore, or mole that does not heal
  • Sores, spot, or mole that becomes tender, painful, itchy, or begins to bleed
  • A mole, lump, or spot that appears smooth, pale, shiny or waxy
  • The appearance of a red lump that bleeds, looks ulcerated, or crusty
  • A dry, rough, scaly, flat red spot
  • A dark or black spot/streak appears under a fingernail or toenail that cannot be attributed to a trauma to the nail

Perform Self-Exams

At Laser Lipo and Vein Center, we urge our patients to do a monthly self exam, especially if they are in high risk groups. During these self exams you should check your entire body, even areas that do not receive sun exposure. Also check your scalp, nails, bottoms of the feet and other areas that may be overlooked. It is important that you know what is normal for you, so you can recognize any changes early.

At Laser Lipo and Vein Center, we understand the importance of the early detection of skin cancer. We are happy to provide any information you would like, and of course, we urge you to see us if you are concerned about a mole or any other skin growth.