Senior Care
Login Register List Your Business Advertise   
Find:
  Near:
Forum Health Care Options Relationships Grandparents Retirement Entertainment Money Contact Us
 

 

Melanoma - The Warning Signs
Written By : Mai Brooks 
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Melanoma, the deadly skin cancer, is on the rise. In the United States in 2008, there were estimated 62,480 new cases. In the same year, 8,420 people were predicted to die from this cancer. Melanoma is the #6 most common malignancy in men and #7 most common in women. The ethnicity of melanoma is quite interesting, with 98.2% of cases in white patients, 1.1% in Hispanics, and 0.7% in African Americans.

So, how do you tell if a spot on your skin is a melanoma? There is no sure method. A lot of times, even doctors cannot tell a benign mole from a malignant melanoma, especially when it is still early and small. That is why dermatologists do so many shave biopsies in the office. The piece of skin is then specially stained and looked at under the microscope by pathologists to look for melanoma cells - then and only then can anyone be sure.

However, there are some helpful common sense guidelines. First, you should pay attention to your skin. Any new mole is more suspicious than one that has been around without change for years. Any mole that is very dark or grows quickly in size and thickness should sound off alarm bells. The experts do offer some helpful warning signs to look for - summarized as ABCD as follows: (A) asymmetry, (B) border irregularity, (C) color variation, and (D) diameter greater than 6mm. In men, melanoma occurs most commonly on the trunk, followed by arms, and head and neck areas. In women, it is found most commonly on the legs, followed by arms and then the trunk.

Some people are at particular high risk for developing melanoma. These patients should see a dermatologist at least once a year. High risk factors include family history of melanoma, previous skin cancer, childhood radiation, and dysplastic nevus syndrome. There is now a genetic blood test for a hereditary type of melanoma. You may consider this test for yourself or your family member if: a) you have had 3 separate melanomas, b) 3 or more members of your family have had melanoma, or c) 3 or more members of your family have had melanoma or pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, because there is no drug proven to prevent melanoma, high risk essentially just means more vigilance and more care to avoid direct sun exposure.

Find out more about: cancer
 
 
  About Author
 
 
 
  More from Mai Brooks
 
Risk Factors in Breast Cancer
Health : Breast Cancer
 
Breast Cancer Reconstruction
Health : Breast Cancer
 
Breast Cancer Stages
Health : Breast Cancer
 
View More
 

Popular Articles
     
Redefine Yourself for Retirement How to Avoid Ruining Retirement Living at Home With Dementia Misunderstanding Home Care
If you're like most folks, you have your doubts about retiring. On one hand you may be elated. On the other hand, you may be a bit frustrated because you have no idea what... Wealth seems to be everyone's dream; the ability to relax a little more, to not stress so much about finances and to enjoy the "good life." So often it is believed that wealth... For adult children the recognition of dementia can either be a slow process or it can be "WOW! Things have changed!" This coupled with honoring the loved ones wishes about staying at home can... There is so much misunderstanding about homecare that I want to help clarify the misunderstandings. Many refer to homecare as home health or just homecare without ever...

Read More>>>   Read More>>>   Read More>>>   Read More>>>

SeniorsList.com allows the elderly to find local senior care services including home care agency, assisted living facility, retirement community, adult day care, hospice, elder law attorney, funeral homes, area agency on aging and more. Read senior care articles about medical alarms, senior lifestyle and care options.