Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. The key to having possible treatment options is finding it early. That’s because melanoma can spread quickly , into other vital organs. This has to do with the way how melanoma starts.
How does melanoma start?
Technically speaking, melanoma is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes. Melanocytes are the cells in your body that produce melanin; these protect the deeper layers of the skin from UV radiation of the sun. From there, cancer that is formed can spread throughout the body. This makes melanoma very dangerous.
Where does melanoma appear after?
The above is how melanoma starts. So where does it start? Well, that depends. Melanoma can appear anywhere on the body and therefore can be seen on a wide range of places. As the UV exposure from the sun is one of the biggest causes of skin cancer, places on the body that are exposed to sunlight are naturally at risk. Think about the face, neck, arms, legs, and hands. But UV exposure is not the only cause. If melanoma start in the melanocytes can also be traced back to genetics, environmental factors and more. That’s why it can appear everywhere on the body – also at places where you would not expect it like in the mouth, on the palm of your hands or under your fingernails.
So when it comes to melanoma, it can start everywhere on the body. Make sure to know the early signs to look out for. There is the ABCDE method to self check your body.
Check your moles or spots for:
|· A – Asymmetrical Shape
Melanoma lesions are often irregular, or asymmetrical, in shape. Benign moles are usually symmetrical.
|· B – Border
Non-cancerous moles usually have smooth, even borders. Melanoma lesions will often have fuzzy, irregular borders.
|· C – Color
The presence of more than one color (blue, black, brown, tan, etc.) or the uneven distribution of color can sometimes be a warning sign of melanoma. Benign moles are usually a single shade of brown or tan.
|· D – Diameter
Melanoma lesions are often greater than 6 mm in diameter (approximately the size of a pencil eraser) while normal moles will usually be 6 mm or smaller.
|· E – Evolution
The evolution of a mole or growth is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to diagnosing melanoma. That’s why it’s essential for individuals to take note of what is normal for their body. Melanoma lesions will often have gone through recent changes in color and/or size while non-cancerous moles will usually stay the same over time.
If you see such melanoma symptoms, make sure to self-check and visit your doctor when you feel uncomfortable.