Melanoma Cancer: symptoms, causes, risk factors & prevention

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer because it originates in the cells that make melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its coloring. Melanoma cancer can also develop in the eyes and, in rare cases, inside the body, such as the nose or throat.

Although the specific aetiology of all melanomas is unknown, ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, tanning lights, and beds increase your risk of acquiring melanoma cancer. Limiting your exposure to UV light can lower your risk of melanoma.

Melanoma risk seems to be increasing, especially among women under 40. Knowing the warning symptoms of skin cancer can help you recognize and treat malignant changes before they spread. Melanoma cancer can be successfully treated if diagnosed early. Read on more in this post of Healthowealth!

Symptoms of melanoma cancer

Symptoms of melanoma cancer
Symptoms of melanoma cancer

Melanoma can become visible on any part of the body. They usually appear on areas of your body that have been exposed to the sun, such as your back, legs, arms, and face.

The palms of your hands, the bottoms of your feet, and the undersides of your fingernails are examples of places where melanomas can grow but are not directly exposed to sunlight. People that have darker skin compared to others are more prone to have concealed melanomas.

Common melanoma cancer warning signs and symptoms include the following:

  • A modification to an existing mole
  • unusual-looking growth shows up on your skin.

A mole isn’t always the cause of melanoma cancer. It can also manifest itself on skin that seems normal.

Normal moles

Most adults have between 10 and 40 moles by the time they are mature. As people age, some moles may even disappear or vary in appearance over time.

Unusual moles that may indicate melanoma cancer

Consider the letters ABCDE to help you recognize characteristics of odd moles that could signify melanomas or other skin cancers:

  • The letter A stands for asymmetrical shape.
  • The letter B stands for uneven border.
  • C stands for color changes. Look for growths that have a diversity of colors or an unbalanced distribution of colors.
  • The letter D stands for diameter. look for fresh growth!
  • E stands for evolution. Check for changes over time, such as a growing mole or one that has changed color or shape. Moles may potentially acquire new indications and symptoms over time such as itching or bleeding.
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The appearance of cancerous (malignant) moles varies widely. While some people will go through all of the aforementioned changes, others will only go through one or two.

Hidden Melanoma

Melanoma can also develop in the fissures between your toes and on your hands, soles, scalp, and genitals, which absorb little or no sunlight. These are known as hidden melanomas because they appear in places where most individuals would not think to look. Those with darker skin are more prone to develop melanoma in a hidden spot.

The following are examples of hidden melanomas:

hidden Melanoma beneath a nail

Acral-lentiginous melanoma is an uncommon type of melanoma cancer that develops beneath the fingernail or toenail. The palms of the hands and the soles of the feet are also covered in them. Black people, persons of African descent, and people with dark skin tones are more likely to have it.

Melanoma of the mouth

The gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, or vaginal area. Mucosal melanoma originates on the mucous membrane that covers the nose, mouth, esophagus, anus, urinary tract, and vagina. Mucosal melanomas are particularly difficult to identify because they are frequently confused with other, far more common diseases.

In the eye, melanoma

The most common location for eye melanoma, also known as ocular melanoma, is the uvea, which is the layer behind the white of the eye (sclera). Melanoma in the eye can cause vision abnormalities and can be detected during an eye checkup.

When to see a doctor?

If you detect any unexpected skin changes, make an appointment with your doctor.

Causes of melanoma cancer

Causes of melanoma cancer
Causes of melanoma cancer

Melanoma cancer develops when the melanin-producing cells (melanocytes) that give your skin color malfunction.

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Skin cells normally develop in a controlled and orderly manner, with healthy new cells pushing older cells toward the exterior, where they die and fall off. When a cell’s DNA is damaged, however, new cells grow uncontrolled, ultimately becoming a mass of cancerous cells. What causes DNA damage in skin cells and how it leads to melanoma is unknown. A number of variables, including hereditary and environmental ones, combine to develop melanoma. Despite this, doctors believe that UV radiation from the sun, tanning beds, and other sources is the leading cause of melanoma. UV light may not necessarily cause all melanomas, especially those that appear on parts of your body that aren’t exposed to sunlight. This implies that other factors might affect your risk of developing melanoma.

Risk factors of melanoma cancer

Risk factors of melanoma cancer
Risk factors of melanoma cancer

Melanoma cancer can be caused by a number of factors, including:

Fair complexion

If you have less pigment (melanin) in your skin, you will have less protection from harmful UV rays. You’re more prone to acquire melanoma if you have blond or red hair, light-colored eyes, and freckle or sunburn easily than someone with a darker skin tone. Melanoma cancer can develop in people with darker complexions, such as Hispanics and African-Americans.

Sunburned in the past

Melanoma risk can be increased by one or more severe, blistering sunburns.

UV radiation exposure that is excessive

Melanoma risk can be increased by UV radiation, which is produced by the sun, tanning beds, and tanning lamps.

Having a large number of moles or unusual moles

Dysplastic nevi are excessively large moles with erratic borders and a spectrum of hues.

Melanoma runs in the family

Remember to Check the history of this disease in your family.

The immune system is weakened

Melanoma and other skin malignancies are more likely in people who have compromised immune systems. If you use immune-suppressing medication, such as after an organ transplant, or if you have an immune-suppressing condition, such as AIDS, your immune system may be compromised.

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Prevention of melanoma cancer

Prevention of melanoma cancer
Prevention of melanoma cancer

Melanoma cancer and other types of skin cancer can be prevented if you:

In the midst of the day, avoid the sun!

in the winter or when the sky is foggy, plan outside activities for various times of the day.

All year long, UV radiation is absorbed, and clouds do little to block out dangerous rays!

Sunburns and suntans cause skin damage and raise your risk of skin cancer, therefore avoiding the sun at its brightest help you avoid them. Cumulative sun exposure might also lead to skin cancer.

Wear sunblock all year!

Apply sunscreen and reapply every two hours, or more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating.

Wear safety equipment!

Dark, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs, as well as a broad-brimmed hat that gives greater protection than a baseball cap or visor, should be worn to protect your skin. Some businesses also sell protective gear. A dermatologist can suggest a suitable brand. Remember to wear sunglasses. Consider purchasing sunglasses that can prevent UVA and UVB radiation.

Avoid using tanning beds and lamps!

UV rays from tanning lamps and beds can raise your risk of skin cancer.

Being familiar with your skin will help you notice changes in it!

Check your skin frequently for new skin growths or changes in existing moles, freckles, lumps, or birthmarks. Inspect the tops and bottoms of your arms and hands, as well as the tops and bottoms of your chest and trunk. Examine your legs and feet from the front to the rear, including the soles and gaps between your toes. Check your vaginal area as well as the area between your buttocks.

If, after reading the article “Melanoma cancer “, you liked it and became interested in studying in other fields of health and medicine, we suggest you read the following articles from the category cancer on our website.


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HealthoWealth Team

A group of students from prestigious universities are present in Healthowealth team. This group use reliable scientific sources and work under the supervision of experts and specialists to gather beneficial info in a simple way for public usage. This info is collected from authentic sources and with great precision, but keep in mind that if you have a serious illness, at first visit a specialist to be treated by doctors order. At least avoid self-medications!

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