In this article today I’d like to talk about several tips, tricks, and techniques that you can use to catch and treat melanoma cancer before it gets out of hand and becomes life-threatening.
Even though many forms, if not most forms of cancer, seem to be declining thanks to medical advances; melanoma cancer seems to be rising in frequency for any number of reasons that I’m not really going to get into today. What is important is that we catch melanoma before it becomes life-threatening and that’s what I’m going to talk about in this article today.
The first thing you should always do is have a visual body scan checkup with your doctor at least once a year and possibly up to four times a year if you are the kind of person with a higher probability of skin cancer than most. This includes people that work outside for a living or who were exposed to a lot of sun damage early in life, or who have a high history of skin cancer in the family. A general physician can administer a simple visual scan in a normal checkup, but you may want to visit a dermatologist instead. Whichever you’re most comfortable with will work just fine.
Next between checkups you should watch for danger signs yourself. These types of things include asymmetrical spots on your body where half of the spot looks different than the other half. Also look for border irregularities. Melanomas usually have notched rather than round borders. Next look for color variations in your skin. Normal moles are usually all one color whereas melanomas are often different colors of tan as well as brown, black, pink, white, and even blue sometimes. Finally watch for spots with a diameter that is greater than one quarter of an inch.
When it comes to this type of skin cancer the earlier that you detect it the better. In fact early detection is vital in many circumstances. If you are a high-risk person then you should administer self exams to yourself at least monthly using a full-length mirror in a bright room. You will also need a small hand-held mirror and possibly even a flashlight to see yourself from all possible angles.
Treatment of melanoma cancer depends on the different stage of cancer that you have and there are basically four stages that I’m not going to get into in great detail today. Basically when a possible melanoma is found, a biopsy is done in which the entire region is removed and examined. If the cancer has not yet spread it can often be removed surgically. If the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes then things get more difficult and may include chemotherapy and more intense surgery.
So there you have some fairly strong information when it comes to melanoma cancer. At the end of the day just remember that the earlier you detect it the better off you will be; so be sure to get regular checkups and keep an eye on things yourself in the meantime, and stay out of the sun as much as possible!