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skin cancer melanoma symptoms, treatment

Introduction 

Melanoma skin cancer is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, with the highest mortality rate. While it is serious skin cancer, it is highly curable if caught early. Early detection and treatment are critical if you have fair skin, blonde or red hair, and blue eyes.

 

What is melanoma?

 

The most dangerous type of skin cancer is melanoma skin cancer, which means “black tumour.” It multiplies rapidly and can spread to any organ.

 

Melanocytes are the skin cells which cause melanoma. These cells produce melanin, the dark pigment that gives skin its colour. Most melanomas are black or brown, but some are pink, red, purple, or skin-coloured.

 

About 30% of melanomas develop from pre-existing moles, while the rest develop from normal skin. Because most melanomas do not begin as moles, paying attention to changes in your skin is essential. However, the number of moles on your skin may help predict your risk of developing melanoma. Understanding if you fall into a high-risk category for developing melanoma skin cancer is critical. Because melanomas proliferate, a delay in treatment can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

 

 Knowing your risk can help you be more vigilant in monitoring changes in your skin and seeking skin examinations, as melanomas have a 99% cure rate if detected early. The depth of the cancerous growth is directly related to treatment success, so early detection is critical.

 

Causes of Melanoma 

 

Melanoma skin cancer is most commonly caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. It damages the DNA of your skin cells, causing them to proliferate uncontrollably.

 

However, the disease can be contracted on parts of your body that do not receive direct sunlight, such as the palms of your hands and the retinas of your eyes.

 

If you have: you are more likely to develop melanoma.

 

  • Fair skin, as well as lighter hair and eyes
  • Numerous moles or irregular moles
  • A melanoma family history

 

Symptoms of Melanoma 

 

If your melanoma skin cancer has spread to other parts of your body, you may have:

 

  • Hardened bumps beneath your skin
  • Lymph nodes that are swollen or painful
  • Breathing difficulties or a persistent cough
  • Loss of appetite or liver swelling (under your lower right ribs)
  • Bone pain or, in rare cases, broken bones
  • Headaches, seizures, or arm or leg weakness or numbness
  • Loss of weight
  • Fatigue

 

Treatment

 

Although metastatic melanoma is difficult to treat, there are options. What is best for you will be determined by the location and size of cancer, your overall health, and your wishes. Because most cases of metastatic melanoma cannot be cured, the treatment goals are to:

 

  • Reduce or halt disease growth where it has spread.
  • Prevent it from spreading into new areas.
  • Make you feel more at ease.

 

Radiation and chemotherapy were the mainstays of treatment in the past. According to studies, newer drugs are now available that work better. Your medicine may include the following:

 

Surgery

 

Your doctor may remove tumours or lymph glands. Although surgery is unlikely to cure cancer, it can help you live longer and with fewer symptoms. Your doctor will almost certainly use one or more additional treatments.

 

Chemotherapy and radiation

 

Depending on the size and location of cancer, these may be beneficial to some people.

 

Immunotherapy

These drugs strengthen your immune system, allowing it to fight cancer more effectively. Immunotherapy is administered in high doses via IV or shot. Although it has serious side effects, it can shrink metastatic melanomas and help some people live longer.

 

Targeted Therapy 

 

This treatment aims to kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. They may be effective for people who have specific genetic changes. These treatments may have fewer side effects than chemotherapy or radiation because they target tumours.

 

Some drugs target the BRAF gene. This gene, which aids cancer cell growth, is altered in roughly half of all melanoma patients. If you have a BRAF-positive tumour, these drugs may help shrink it and extend your life. They are as follows:

 

  • Dabrafenib (Tafinlar)
  • Vemurafenib (Braftovi) Encorafenib (Zelboraf)

 

Other medications inhibit an enzyme known as MEK. This enzyme is frequently overactive in specific cancers. These drugs appear to shrink tumours for a more extended period when used in conjunction with a BRAF inhibitor to attack cancer cells:

 

  • Binimetinib (Mektovi)
  • Cobimetinib (Cotellic)
  • Trametinib (Mekinist)

 

FAQs 

 

1- what causes melanoma?

Ans. Melanoma skin cancer is caused by abnormally developing skin cells. Most melanomas are thought to be caused by sun ultraviolet (UV) light, but there is evidence that some may be caused by sunbed use. Melanoma is caused by long periods of intense sun exposure.

 

2-how long can you have melanoma and not know it?

Ans. Melanoma can spread quickly. It can become fatal in as little as six weeks if left untreated and spread to other parts of the body if not treated. Melanoma can develop on skin that is not generally exposed to the sun. Nodular melanoma is a type of melanoma that looks different from other types of melanomas.

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