Skin cancer – What is Melanoma ?

Skin cancer  is a common form of cancer. Skin cancer continue to rise around the world. Often people fail to identify that they have skin cancer as the signs often seem quite normal to people. 

There are 3 types of skin cancers. The types of cancer are,  Malignant Melanoma, Squamous cell carcinoma and Basil cell carcinoma. 

Malignant Melanoma is cancer of the pigment cells in the skin. This cancer is not contagious. However, it is important to identify the signs so we can identify it at an early stage. The cause of malignant Melanoma is due to over exposure of ultraviolet light from the sun. 

Who are at risk of cancer ?

  • Those who have fairer skin and  rarely tans.
  • Those with regular sunburns.
  • People with many moles or large birth marks.
  • People with poor immune system.

What are the symptoms of Melanoma?

  • Tingly and itchiness appears at an  early stage.
  • Changes in the size, shape and color of the mole or dark area that looks like a mole.
  • Crusting, oozing or bleeding occur as skin cancer progresses.

What does Melanoma look like?

All Melanoma don’t look alike, there are certain signs to look for.

Melanoma shows one of the following features below

  • Asymmetry – two halves differ in their shape.
  • Border – the edges around the mole or darker area appear irregular, blurred.
  • Color – the color differs  and are uneven. Often you can notice different shade of black, brown and pink. 
  • Diameter – has a diameter of 6mm.

Suspicious Mole Abnormal Color

Melanoma is common both in men and women, often are found in places that are exposed by the sun. Therefore,  Melanoma appearing areas, such as  the face, arms, legs and body.

How can Melanoma be diagnosed?

  • Go through the ABCD stage above to see if you notice any irregularities.
  • Seek professional help from a doctor or dermatologist, if you have any concerns. 
  • A biopsy can be done for further assessment and analysis.

Dermatologist examining patient for signs of skin cancerCan Melanoma be cured?

Melanoma can be cured by surgery and often have high survival rates.

What can we do to prevent skin cancer?

  • Wear protective clothing that limits sun exposure.
  • Wearing sunscreen to protect the skin. 
  • Limit sun exposure between 10am – 2pm.
  • Avoid sun beds. 
  • Avoid the skin from burning in the sun, by seeking shade where possible.

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