While it is the third most common type of skin cancer, melanoma is the most worrisome. It most commonly is confined to the skin; however, unlike basal cell carcinoma and squamus cell carcinoma, melanoma can rapidly spread internally to lymph nodes and internal organs. Once melanoma has spread into the body, there are no effective treatments and the mortality rate approaches 100%. Thus, early detection is crucial in order to achieve the highest cure rate. When diagnosed early, before it has spread, melamona can be treated with simple surgical removal, resulting in a cure rate approaching 100%.
Melanomas can occur anywhere on the body, but the back and legs are areas when melanomas are commonly seen. Melanomas are typically thought of as “black” skin cancers. Usually they are irregularly shaped growths with extremely dark pigmentations. They can arise from an existing mole. Therefore, any mole that is rapidly changing in size, shape, or color should be evaluated immediately. Other melanomas arise spontaneously. The early detection and cure of melanoma is one of the most important goals for the providers at Avail Dermatology.