Spotting the Signs: How To Recognize Malignant Melanoma Early

Spotting the Signs: How To Recognize Malignant Melanoma Early

There are several types of skin cancer including squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma, each involving a different type of skin cell. Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive and dangerous. Early detection is critical. Dermatologist Dr. Clifford Lober provides a wide range of dermatology services, including diagnosis and treatment of malignant melanoma. He has two convenient office locations in Kissimmee and Ocoee, FL.

What You Need To Know About Malignant Melanoma

Malignant melanoma is skin cancer that develops in the melanocytes, the skin cells responsible for skin color. It is typically caused by excessive, unprotected sun exposure. It’s important to be able to spot the early signs of malignant melanoma. You need to look for:

  • Large moles, with a diameter over 6 millimeters
  • Moles with irregular, ragged borders
  • Moles that have changed in color, size, or shape
  • Recurrent moles, which have grown back after previous removal
  • Itching, painful, or bleeding moles

Doing a self-check of your skin regularly is an excellent idea. If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above, visit your dermatologist as soon as possible. Your dermatologist may remove a small tissue sample or the entire mole for a biopsy. A biopsy determines whether the cells are cancerous, what type of skin cancer it is, and what stage of cancer you have.

If you have melanoma, aggressive treatment is often recommended, which can include:

  • Surgical excision of the cancerous tissue
  • Radiation treatment to kill the cancerous cells
  • Chemotherapy to kill the cancerous cells
  • Mohs micrographic surgery to remove the cancer layer-by-layer
  • Medicated lotions or creams to help your body fight the skin cancer

Remember that you are at increased risk of developing malignant melanoma if you have pale skin and freckles, sunburn easily, or have a family history of skin cancer. It’s important to protect your skin when you are outside. You need to apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, or an SPF of at least 50 if you plan to be outside for a long period.

Want To Know More About Malignant Melanoma?

To find out more about malignant melanoma, call Dr. Clifford Lober. You can reach him in the Kissimmee, FL, office by calling (407) 846-7166, or in Ocoee, FL, by calling (407) 656-9700, so call today.

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