Melanoma is a skin disease. Cancerous cells are produced in the melanocytes, cells that are responsible for skin color. Melanocytes, in the skin, are also found in other parts of the body, like the eyes. A majority of documented melanoma infection originates in the skin. It is a skin cancer. Melanoma is also known as malignant melanoma or cutaneous melanoma. It is curable, but an early diagnosis and treatment is very important.
According to scientific research on melanoma, an exposure to ultraviolet radiation is a major cause. Dermatologists often debate on the association of sunlight with melanoma. They believe that occasional exposure to extreme sun cannot be related to melanoma. Melanoma is commonly found in black men.
Other than the U.V. rays of the sun the other causes of this cancer are mutations or the total loss of tumor suppressing genes. Melanoma is also caused by the regular use of sun beds. These beds are known to permit deep penetration of UV rays.
Doctors diagnose melanoma by examining suspicious moles, irregular in color or shape. After a visual examination, a dermatoscopic examination is conducted. It helps to illuminate the moles, revealing the underlying pigment and vascular network structure. This helps to confirm the presence of melanoma. It is advisable for the diagnosis to be performed by an experienced specialist. The early stages melonama look identical to harmless moles.
The treatment of melanoma is also performed within a multidisciplinary approach. This includes medication and radiation. The opinion of surgical oncologists, general surgeons, neurologists and neurosurgeons is also helpful. The medication or chemotherapy for superficial melanomas, such as lentigo maligna melanoma, involves the use of imiquimod topical cream. It is an immune enhancing agent.
It is important for individuals, with family members diagnosed with melanoma to get themselves checked regularly for skin cancer.