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Melanoma

Overview

Melanoma - a malignant tumor of the skin. It develops from the melanocytes of the skin cells that produce melanin. Melanin is the pigment that determines the color of human skin. The tumor can occur at any age, from adolescence. There has been increase in the incidence of melanoma. Unfortunately, this is a very dangerous malignancy which is difficult to treat and routinely kills people. Since in most cases the tumor is localized in the skin, through regular preventive check-ups it is not difficult to detect in early stages, when cure is still possible.

The causes of the disease

The cause of any malignant disease is damage to cellular DNA, which occurs under the influence of various environmental factors.

Risk factors for melanoma include:

- A genetic predisposition;
- Excessive insolation;
- The presence of a large number of moles (nevi) - benign pigmented lesions on the skin;
- Light skin, red hair.

Precancerous diseases are dysplastic and congenital nevi nevokletochnye.

Symptoms

Competent doctors are well versed in the pathological cells and tumors of the skin, but for the layman, most pigment changes may seem ordinary mole. In order not to miss the presence of melanoma should be aware of some characteristics of this disease:

- Asymmetry of shape - edges are irregular, sometimes scalloped shape;
- Change in color - the color of melanoma is usually characterized by the presence of gray, black, blue, pink, red and other colors. It should be borne in mind that any change in color of moles should be cause for concern and cause the need for the survey;
- Resizing - for melanoma is characterized by the size of 6 mm in diameter.

The first signs of melanoma increases the size of the pigment formation and change its color. Later bleeding can occur and ulceration.

In the initial stages of the disease may be asymptomatic. When the metastases occur malaise, weight loss, blurred vision, pain in the bones.

Diagnosis of melanoma

Diagnosis of melanoma is engaged oncologist. Depending on the size and location of a suspicious education or excised entirely, or make a biopsy. This material was sent for histological examination.

To determine the stage of disease carried ultrasound, scintigraphy, or computed tomography of the lymph nodes, liver, lungs, bones, brain, etc.

Prophylaxis

Prevention of melanoma is reduced to limit sun exposure. People at risk is recommended to use sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15, wear a hat and a light cover up.

Some types of melanoma have a clear genetic predisposition, so if someone from your family ever been diagnosed with melanoma, should be regularly examined by a dermatologist.

Metastasis

Melanoma is characterized by rapid and early metastasis. The most common metastatic regional lymph nodes are affected. Hematogenous metastases may occur in any organ, but most often affects the lungs, liver, bones and brain. In the presence of distant metastasis prognosis is extremely unfavorable.

What you can do?

Suspicion of melanoma should immediately consult a dermatologist. If necessary, refer the patient to a medical oncologist.

What will help the doctor?

Treatment of malignant melanoma is a difficult task due to the turbulent, early in the upcoming dissemination. It should only be conducted in a specialized institution. Treatment of melanoma primarily surgical. 1-2 stages of conducting a radical excision of melanoma with the capture of healthy tissue (0.5 to 2 cm around a melanoma). Sometimes it is necessary to selectively remove regional lymph nodes. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are used in addition to surgical methods in the later stages of the disease.