Understanding Skin Cancer and Melanoma Symptoms
There are different forms of skin cancer a patient may be diagnosed with, and of all types, melanoma is the most serious, but it can be treated if it is detected early on. Most often, melanoma develops in the melanocytes, or the melanin producing cells, although it can also affect the internal organs, such as the eyes. It is believed that this, and virtually all forms of skin cancer, are directly related to ultra violet rays, and recent statistics demonstrate that melanoma is increasing in women under the age of 40.
Melanoma symptoms are many, and they don’t all have to be experienced by one patient in order to be diagnosed with this cancer of the skin. Usually, melanomas are found on the parts of the body most often exposed to the sun, like the face or the arms, for example. However, they are not limited to the areas exposed to the sun, as there are cases where melanomas have developed on the soles of the feet, or even in fingernail beds, but mainly on darker skinned people.
Melanoma symptoms are usually:
* A new growth on the skin, with an unusual formation;
* A suspicious change in an already existing mole.
The important thing is for people to know what to look for with regards to skin cancer, as early detection is key to successful treatment, as mentioned above. It is completely normal to have moles, and most people already have at least one by age 40. A normal mole will generally be the same color all over and it will either be oval or round in shape. It will not be larger than a 1/4 inch in diameter, and it will have a distinct border. Moles may undergo many changes, which is completely normal.
However, abnormal moles, or different from the above, may be indicative of skin cancer or melanomas. Pay special attention to their shape, as an asymmetrical shape with different halves should sound the alarms. Irregular borders are another warning sign, as are color changes. Other skin cancer or melanoma symptoms to be aware of include the size of the mole.
In addition to all the above, there are also hidden melanomas that occur on parts of the body which are not exposed to the sun. As a result, these can be dangerous because people rarely think to check these areas. Ocular melanoma, which forms in the eye, affects vision and can usually be detected in an examination.