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Different Types Of Melanoma And Early Diagnosis

A melanoma is a type of skin disease that develops in the melanocytes, which are responsible for the color or pigments of the skin. Melanocytes also are responsible for the hair, eyes and mole pigments.

Most cases of melanoma affects the skin which causes skin cancer. The common pigments it produces is black and brown. It is also called malignant melanoma and can be cured when diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

There is no distinct reason for this skin disease, however, there are studies that reasoned out that the UV rays from the sunlight is the major cause for it. The reduction of the antioncogene, which can be a mutation, is another related cause of melanoma, as well as over-exposure in sun beds.
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Melanoma can be detected by the dermatologist if there are irregularities occurring on the mole’s shape and color. The dermatoscope is the instrument used to examine the skin lesion and to determine whether it is a melanoma. The early signs are usually similar to a normal mole.
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Treating melanoma is done with multiple disciplinary approach. Medication and radiation are the common early treatments. Doctors in various fields like the neurologist, general surgeon, surgical oncologist and neurosurgeon also contribute to the treatment. The melanoma can also be treated through chemotherapy and application of imiquimod, a topical cream that serves as immune enhancer, to lentigo maligna melanoma which is a superficial type of melanoma.

It is vital for people to visit a doctor or dermatologist if they suspect any changes of their skin lesions. To be able to understand further about melanoma, it is important to know about the types and whether it is localized or invasive.

Superficial spreading melanoma is the common type compiling to 70% of skin disease cases. The young age group is usually affected to this invasive melanoma. For a long period, it stays at top part of the skin until starts to penetrate deep into the skin.

The lentigo maligna is another type but is quite the same to superficial spreading. On the skin surface, the lesion stays there as flat or a little bit elevated, and its pigment is dark brown or brown. This localized melanoma often affects the older group of people and is due to long exposure to the sun, skin damages on the arms, face and ears. The lentigo maligna can become a melanoma once it starts to invade deep into the skin.

The acral lentiginous melanoma is also another type that spreads first superficially before becoming invasive. This can be detected as a brownish or blackish pigment located at the soles of the feet or palms and under the nails. This usually affects dark colored individuals and commonly to Asians and African-Americans, and it rarely affects Caucasians.

Another type is the nodular melanoma and it is recognized when the black lesion turns into a bump. It can also appear as gray, white, brown or red discoloration. Unlike the other three, this type of melanoma is diagnosed instantly as invasive, and is known to be the most aggressive type. The nodular melanoma is diagnosed immediately as invasive, unlike the other three types. The affected group of people are the older ones and it usually appears on the legs, arms and trunks.

Melanoma is sometimes hereditary. It is important to have regular visits to the dermatologist to cure early signs of the skin disease.