Melanoma is perhaps the most severe form of skin cancer. It develops within the cells that produce the pigment, melanin, that gives your skin color. The risk of skin cancer seems to be increasing in people under 40, especially those with lighter skin tones. Knowing the warning signs of cancer and treating them at earlier stages can prevent spreading and dangers to your health.
Causes of Melanoma
Extensive exposure to UV radiation from sunlight increases the risk of developing melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.
Common risk factors include:
- Fair skin
- A family history of melanoma
- Living closer to the equator or at a higher elevation
- Developing abnormal skin irregularities
- A diagnosis of a weaker immune system
How Can Melanoma Be Prevented
Some preventative practices to reduce the chances of developing skin cancer include avoiding the excessive sun exposure, wearing sunscreen when spending time outdoors and protective clothing year-round. We strongly recommend avoiding tanning lamps and beds not only for preventing melanoma but for preserving the general health of your skin.
Sometimes cancer can be detected simply by carefully examining the skin. For an accurate diagnosis, our team can perform a biopsy of the discovered irregularity.
Treatments for Melanoma
Treatment for early-stage skin cancer usually includes surgery. A very thin area containing melanoma may be removed entirely during the biopsy and require no further treatment. A member of our team will extract the cancer as well as a border of normal skin and a layer of tissue beneath the superficial layer. For those diagnosed with early-stage melanoma, this may be the only treatment needed. If the cancer has spread beyond the skin, we can explore your treatment options with you during your appointment.
Schedule Your Consultation
To learn more about melanoma diagnosis and the treatment options available to you, schedule a consultation with Derm.ca Dermatology & Esthetics in Calgary today.