Why is early detection of melanoma so important?
Melanoma tumors can develop anywhere on the skin. “Melanoma is the most dangerous skin cancer. It has the highest risk of spreading if you don’t get it early,” says Dr. Greenway.
Why is it important to learn about skin cancer?
Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. If you have skin cancer, it is important to know which type you have because it affects your treatment options and your outlook (prognosis). If you aren’t sure which type of skin cancer you have, ask your doctor so you can get the right information.
What happens if you catch melanoma early?
But when it’s caught early, melanoma often is curable. That’s why it’s so important to be familiar with your skin and report any changes to your dermatologist right away, especially if you’ve had a significant amount of exposure to tanning beds in the past.
Can melanoma be treated if caught early?
Surgery may be the only treatment needed when melanoma is found early. A dermatologist can often perform this type of surgery during an office visit while you remain awake. During this surgery, the dermatologist removes any remaining tumor (after the skin biopsy) and some normal-looking skin.
How do you know if you caught melanoma early?
Early melanomas often have uneven borders. They may even have scalloped or notched edges. Common moles are usually a single shade of brown or black. Early melanomas are often varied shades of brown, tan or black.
What is the most curable skin cancer?
Melanoma is the most deadly of all the skin cancers and affects over 44,000 Americans each year. Although thousands of Americans will die from this disease, melanoma is almost always curable when detected in its earliest stages.
Which type of cancer is most common?
The most common type of cancer on the list is breast cancer, with 284,200 new cases expected in the United States in 2021. The next most common cancers are prostate cancer and lung cancer.
What part of the body is affected by skin cancer?
Skin cancer develops primarily on areas of sun-exposed skin, including the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms and hands, and on the legs in women. But it can also form on areas that rarely see the light of day — your palms, beneath your fingernails or toenails, and your genital area.
Where does melanoma usually spread to first?
Normally, the first place a melanoma tumor metastasizes to is the lymph nodes, by literally draining melanoma cells into the lymphatic fluid, which carries the melanoma cells through the lymphatic channels to the nearest lymph node basin.
What is the life expectancy of someone with melanoma?
The overall average 5-year survival rate for all patients with melanoma is 92%. This means 92 of every 100 people diagnosed with melanoma will be alive in 5 years. In the very early stages the 5-year survival rate is 99%. Once melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes the 5-year survival rate is 63%.
How does melanoma make you feel?
Hard lumps may appear in your skin. You may lose your breath, have chest pain or noisy breathing or have a cough that won’t go away. You may feel pain in your liver (the right side of your stomach) Your bones may feel achy.