Melanoma Skin Cancer: Stages, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatments
Cancer is one of the fastest-growing and most fatal diseases in today’s time and age. Information about the stages of different cancers, their diagnosis, treatments, and the early detectable symptoms is an essential knowledge that everyone should actively intake to be aware of symptoms that might be self detectable. The most common among all cancer variants is Skin cancer, and the deadliest and the toughest skin cancer to tackle is Melanoma.
Melanoma is a class of cancer that occurs in the deeper layers of the human skin. While it is not one of the most common cancers in today’s world, it could turn out to be extremely dangerous, if found, due to its tendency to become metastatic and spread to different parts of the body and turn those cells cancerous as well. This guide explores the various facets of Melanoma in details including the stages, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments involved with the disease.
To put it in simple words, Melanoma is a form or type of skin cancer that arises when the cells responsible for the colour or pigmentation of our skin mutate or grow cancerous due to the harmful rays of the sun or other high radiation-emitting toxic chemicals. People with darker skin or higher pigmentation are at lower risk of melanoma than those with lighter skin. Statistically, people under the age of 40 are more at risk of Melanoma disease than those above 40 years of age.
Women, in general, are more at risk of this disease than men. One of the preventive measures being popularised to stave off skin cancer, in general, and not just melanoma, is avoiding encounters with severe sunlight and harmful UV radiation it emits, monitoring moles and other abnormal markings in your skin. In general, melanoma happens in the cells of the skin but in rare cases, it may spread to the pigment cells of the eyes as well as the intestines. The most common areas where melanomas strike is the chest, back, legs, neck, and face.
Stages related to Melanoma
To understand the concept of “stages” of cancer, you need to understand that cancer does not uniformly occur with the same amount of risk or side effects on the human body. It is a disease that slowly and inexorably progresses through various stages of seriousness with an increasing amount of damage to the human body as the disease progresses its stages.
Popularly, melanoma is classified into 5 stages numbered till 5 through 0. Each progressive stage represents a higher risk rate and increased damage to the human body. To know more about the various stages of cancer, consult experts. Click here to know more about such professionals or learn more about skin cancer. The various stages of melanoma have been described briefly below:
Stage 0 marks the onset of cancer only on the outermost skin layer. Stage 1 follows with the chance of ulcerated melanoma, which is up to 2 mm thick. Stage 2 marks the turning point where cancer may be best treated. After this, cancer becomes metastasized and spreads to areas such as lymph nodes or organs such as the brain, lungs, and liver.
Symptoms, diagnosis and treatments:
Symptoms become apparent with later stages of melanoma. Popular detectable symptoms include a change in the colour of the skin or moles and ulcerated cuts that do not heal over time.
The doctor would inspect your skin and look out for these symptoms, and when he is almost suspicious enough to clinically test you, he would remove a sample tissue from the skin, and inspect it for further answers. This process of surgically removing the tissue to examine the stage, severity, and variant of skin cancer is known as Biopsy. Once it is confirmed that the patient does have melanoma, the doctor would then recommend the right treatment for cancer as per its stage.
Popular melanoma treatments include Mohs Surgery for complete removal and skin grafts for melanomas that have metastasized to cover a large area. This works as the doctors individually test each layer of the skin to be sure. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are other popular treatments for melanoma. However, there may be side effects to both. Thus, it is recommended that you weigh in all your options before running into hasty decisions that may get the main bug out, but leave scope for relapse or much worse health problems.