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Melanoma skin

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Melanoma - it is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells develop in skin cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes (located in the lower part of the epidermis) produce melanin, the pigment that gives the skin natural natural color. When the skin is exposed to the sun, melanocytes begin to allocate more pigment, causing the skin to tan. The skin is the largest organ of the human body. It protects our body from sunlight, heat, infection and injury. The skin has two main layers: the epidermis (outer layer) and the dermis (lower or inner layer).

There are 3 types of skin cancer:

  • Melanoma;
  • Squamous skin tumors;
  • Basal cell skin cancer.

When begins melanoma in the skin, the skin condition is called melanoma. Melanoma also may develop in the mucous membranes (wet tissue layers and thin, coating surfaces such as lips). When melanoma is formed in the eyes, it is called ocular melanoma or intraocular.

Melanoma - a more aggressive cancer than squamous or basal cell skin cancer, skin cancer.

Melanoma can develop in any part of the human body.

In men, melanoma most often found in the area from the shoulders to the hips or head and neck; in women - the legs and arms. Melanoma is common among adults, but sometimes can occur in children and adolescents.

Unusual moles, exposure to sunlight, and health history can affect the risk of melanoma.

Anything that increases your risk of developing melanoma, called risk factors. Have you have certain risk factors does not mean that you will definitely get cancer; the absence of risk factors does not mean that you will never develop a skin tumor.

Risk factors for melanoma include:

  • Light skin, freckles and burns easily, tans or bad;
  • Blue or green eyes, or other light-colored eyes;
  • Red or blond hair;
  • Do not give in to sunlight or artificial sunlight (eg, solarium) for long periods of time;
  • Not exposed to certain factors in the environment (in the air in your home or workplace, and your food and water). Some environmental risk factors for melanoma radiation, solvents, vinyl chloride, and PCBs;
  • With a history of many blistering sunburns, especially after a child or adolescent;
  • Having several large or many small moles;
  • Have a family history of unusual moles (atypical mole syndrome);
  • Having a family or personal history of melanoma;
  • Being white;
  • Having a weakened immune system;
  • With any changes in the genes that are associated with melanoma.

Symptoms and signs of melanoma

Symptoms and signs of melanoma: change in the appearance of moles or pigmented areas. These and other features may be caused by melanoma.

Consult your doctor if you have at least one of the following symptoms:

  • change in the shape, size or color moles;
  • mole has irregular borders or edges;
  • is more than one color;
  • asymmetrical (if the mole is divided in half, two halves of different size or shape) and itching;
  • oozing blood;
  • changes in pigmented (colored) skin;
  • Satellite moles (new moles that grow near the existing ones).

Tests that are used to detect and diagnose melanoma

If the pigmented area or mole do not look normal, the following procedures and tests can help find and diagnose melanoma:

1. Skin exam. A doctor or nurse checks the skin moles, birthmarks, pigmented, or other places that abnormal color, size, shape or texture.

2. Biopsy. The procedure for removing diseased tissue and a small amount of normal tissue surrounding it. A pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope to check for the presence of malignant cells. If abnormal mole or lesion - a cancer tissue sample can also be tested for specific genetic changes. A biopsy should be done on any abnormal area of ​​skin. These areas must be shaved or prizhzheny.

Certain factors affect the prognosis of the disease (chance of recovery) and choice of treatment methods.

The chance of recovery and treatment options depend on the following factors:

  • The thickness of the tumor and where it is in the body;
  • How quickly the cancer cells are divided;
  • It was bleeding or ulceration;
  • Whether the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes or to other parts of the body;
  • The overall picture of the state of health of the patient.
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