These days, there are many people struggling with a skin condition referred to as melanoma. Because this condition affects so many people as well as their loved ones, it’s a good idea to learn as much about the disease as possible.
At Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center in Orlando, we understand the importance of proper skin care – not just in summer but year round. Dr. Jeanette Hudgens strives to educate all of her patients on skin care, sun protection and general dermatology practices. To schedule your appointment contact Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center today. We can help you with all of your skin care and aesthetic needs.
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that results from the formation of melanocytes. Melanocytes are the skin cells responsible for the production of the dark pigment, melanin. While these cells occur predominantly in our skin, they can also be found in other bodily regions, including the eye and the bowel. Melanoma can begin in any region of the body where melanocytes are present.
Melanoma is not as prevalent as other forms of skin cancer. However, it is important to note that it can be quite dangerous if it isn’t detected during the early stages. Additionally, melanoma is responsible for 75 percent of skin cancer-related deaths. In 2012, 232,000 people around the world had melanoma, and 55,000 of these cases resulted in death. Over the last twenty years, melanoma has become more common.
Who Does Melanoma Affect?
Melanoma affects both men and women, but the most common site differs. Specifically, the most prevalent bodily region for women is the legs. On the other hand, the melanomas that appear in men emerge most frequently on the back. Skin cancer is about three times more common in men than in women, and the risk increases with age. Most people diagnosed with skin cancer are between ages 45 and 54, although all forms of the disease are appearing more often in younger people.
Melanoma is prevalent amongst Caucasians, especially northwestern and northern Europeans who reside in climates rife with sunny weather. There are also higher rates of melanoma occurring in Latin America, Southern Africa, Europe, North America, and Oceania. These geographic findings reflect the primary factor precipitating the condition, which is exposure to ultraviolet light as well as the skin pigmentation of the people who populate that region.
Treatment for Melanoma
Treatment for melanoma includes surgically removing the tumor. In the event that melanoma is detected early (when it is still thin and small) and is thoroughly removed, the chance of successful cure and recovery is substantive. Moreover, the likelihood that an occurrence of melanoma will return or spread is contingent upon how deep into the skin’s layers it has gone. In the event that melanomas spread or return, treatment options include immunotherapy, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
As made plain by the brief outline listed above, melanoma can be a difficult condition to grapple with. However, viable treatment options exist. If you believe that you or a loved one are struggling with melanoma, be sure to contact a medical official for diagnosis and treatment.