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What Is Malignant Melanoma Skin Cancer?

May 5, 2008
Malignant Melanoma Skin cancer is a type of skin cancer that starts in the pigmentation system of the skin. The skin layer that become tanned in the summer.

This type of a cancer begins in moles or in different areas of normal looking skin. In rare cases, the tumor may start in the eyes, the intestine, the respiratory passage and the brain.

Malignant melanoma is a dangerous type of cancer. In this case, the chances of the survival of patient depend on early discovery and treatment.

The skin is responsible for protecting the body from several vices such as heat, infection, injury, sunlight and water loss. The outermost layer is known as the epidermis. It consists of flat scaly squamous cells.

These cells contain a protein that makes the skin strong and also flexible. There are also basal cells and melanocytes that lie deeper inside the epidermis.

Melanocytes are responsible for producing a pigment known as melanin. This pigment provides color to our skin and also protects it from sun damage.

Whenever, the skin is exposed to the sun, it tends to produce pigment and tans. Melanocytes cluster together and result in moles. Some of these moles may even become malignant melanomas.

Melanomas are mainly divided in to four major types. The division depends on the location, shape and their tendency to grow outward or downward in to the dermis.

i)Superficial

This type of melanomas grows outwards in order to form an irregular pattern on the skin.

ii)Nodular

The melanomas are lumpy and blue-black in appearance. These may grow faster and even spread downwards.

iii)Acral melanomas

It occurs on the palms, feet, nailbeds or soles of the feet.

iv)Lentigo maligna

This type of melanomas usually occurs on the faces of elderly people.

Experts say that this type of cancer origins from the mucous membranes of the mouth, vagina, anus and the eye. It can also start on other places in the body where melanocytes are usually located.

There are several symptoms that indicate the existence or growth of malignant melanoma skin cancer on the body.

Here are some of the symptoms you need to look for:

a)Color

The color of the mole gets darker or even appears as different colors mixed together.

b)Size
The size of the mole grows larger.

c)Shape
One half of the mole does not match the other. The edges of the mole become ragged, notched or even blurred.

d)Surface
The surface of the mole is usually raised, flaking, scaly, oozing or like an erosion.

e)Texture
The texture of the existing mole is lumpy or hard.

f)Skin surrounding the mole
The pigment usually spreads from the mole in to the skin that earlier looked normal. The area surrounding the mole becomes red or swells.

g)Sensation
The sensation is either itchy, tender or painful.

So whenever an existing mole gets bigger, changes in shape, creates an irregular edge, gets darker in color, becomes patchy or multi-shaded, itches, pains, bleeds, becomes crusty or appears to be inflamed, rush for medical help immediately.
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