Melanoma is an aggressive form of skincancer that affects the body in many ways. Usually first appearing as a newmole or skin growth, melanoma can spread deeper into the body if leftuntreated.
Thefirst sign will be an atypical mole
In most cases, melanoma will develop from anew mole and in about 25% of cases it will form from a pre-existing mole. The moleor spot will typically exhibit some common symptoms:
· An increase in size
· Irregular borders
· A change in color from brown toblack
· Irregular, rough or ulceratedsurface
· Tends to bleed easily
· A spot that looks differentfrom others
· Any ulcer or broken down partof the skin that does not heal within 4 weeks
· A spot that becomes raised overtime
Ifit moves deeper, other symptoms may appear
If a melanoma is not caught in its firsttwo stages, while it’s still in the skin, it can spread to nearby lymph nodes,eventually moving into the organs. Once it has moved beyond the skin andlatched onto other areas, it is known as metastasized melanoma and otherphysical symptoms may present themselves. Symptoms may include:
· Lymph nodes may become hard orswollen
· Hard lumps may appear in theskin
· Shortness of breath, chest painor noisy breathing or a cough that won’t go away
· Pain in the liver (which is on theright side of the stomach)
· Achy bones
· A headache that won’t go away
· Bowel issues and constipation
· Extreme tiredness and fatigue
The most common places for melanomametastasis to occur are the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, bones, brain andabdomen. Cancer Research UK providesa break down for the specific symptoms that typically occur in each area.
Melanoma can affect the body in manydifferent ways depending on the person and where and how the melanoma hasformed. Prevent melanoma from forming by knowing thewarning signs and taking steps to protect your skin from UV radiation.