The awareness of the dangers of skin cancer, particularly melanoma, has doubtless increased. Still, the most fatal form of melanoma is frequently left undiagnosed in the fledging stages.
Nodular melanoma is the most serious and life threatening form of skin cancer, constituting around 35% of all thick melanoma cases. In comparison, the most general form of melanoma, the superficial spreading melanoma, is regularly diagnosed in its infancy and characteristically is a thin melanoma.
The dissimilarity between thick and thin melanomas is quite straightforward. Thin melanomas have a tendency to spread out over the top of the skin surface. Thick melanomas, on the other hand, are more penetrating and grow deeper into the skin.
Commonly, nodular melanoma is already invasive upon first diagnosis. This form of cancer is normally seen on arms, legs and upper torso of an elderly person. The scalp may be affected at any age.
This malignancy is characterized by a bump-like feature, generally black, but at times blue, white, gray, brown, red, tan or skin tone.
Nodular melanoma is far less common than any of the other sub-types. It accounts for only 15% of all melanoma cases. Reports suggest that this disease commonly affects people after the age of fifty. Medically, nodular melanoma appears as a consistent blue-red, blue-black or amelanotic nodule.
Nearly 5% of nodular melanomas do not have pigment. They are called amelanotic melanoma. The most affected areas for nodular melanoma are the head, neck and upper torso. It is important to remember that a nodular melanoma usually starts in normal skin, and not in an already existing lesion. Nodular melanomas are also characterized by rapid growth.