What is a Melanoma?
A malignant melanoma is a deadly skin cancer arising from the pigment-producing cells of the skin. It accounts for only 4% of all skin cancers, but is by far the most dangerous. Malignant melanomas are responsible for more than 80% of all skin-cancer related deaths.
One in every 71 Americans has a lifetime risk of developing a melanoma. The only effective treatment is early detection and prompt surgical removal. Don’t become a statistic – take a good look at your skin. Have someone check the areas you can not see. Think you might have a melanoma? Here are a few basic characteristics to consider:
The ABC’s of Melanomas:
- A – “Asymmetric” spot, not round.
- B – “Borders” are irregular.
- C – “Color” is variable.
- D – “Diameter” is bigger than a pencil eraser.
Melanomas also tend to be changing and bleed easily. If you think you have a skin lesion that fits the criteria above, it might be time to schedule an appointment. Don’t wait any longer! Melanomas will not simply “disappear”. In some cases, a process called regression may make a melanoma appear lighter or cause parts of it to fade, but this does not reduce your danger, it just makes the melanoma harder to diagnose. They should be professionally treated as soon as possible. Click here for information about visiting our offices or find a dermatologist in your area.