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What is Melanoma ?

Malignant melanoma is a type of skin cancer. Melanoma starts in skin cells which are called melanocytes. These are the cells which create melanin. Melanin is the element that gives your skin its particular skin color. The other function of Melanin is protecting the layers of our skin from the harmful rays of the sun. When we stay out in the sun, the melanocytes make melanin and this causes our skin to acquire a tan. However, if we spend too much time out in the sun, then our skin gets too much ultraviolet rays. Due to this the melanocytes begin to grow very fast and then they become cancerous. This is known as skin cancer that is Melanoma.

Signs of Melanoma or Melanoma Symptoms

Among the fist signs of melanoma is a change in a mole that you have on your body. Usually what happens is that there is a noticeable change in the color and size of the mole. In some cases people notice a new mole. In the case of people who have dark skin, melanoma signs can be observed on the soles of the feet, the palms of their hands or even under their fingernails. Although these are the obvious changes that you can look out for, you should also examine your skin periodically, and remain alert for any other melanoma symptoms.

Malignant melanoma is first observed on the surface of the skin. This makes it easy to observe. It is absolutely essential that Melanoma be detected in the early stages so that treatment can be started as soon as possible. If it remains undetected, malignant melanoma sometimes grows down into the skin. It can also reach the blood vessels. It also spreads around the body. Although Melanoma can affect anybody, it has generally been observed that people who have fair skin which is sensitive to the rays of the sun are more likely to be affected by this disease. These people are usually the first to burn when they are out in the sun. People who have lots of moles are also susceptible to Melanoma. These people usually have more than fifty moles on their body. Often, these moles are of unusual shapes. In many cases it has been observed that Melanoma is hereditary.

Although detecting Melanoma at an early stage is the best way to ensure that it can be treated, melanoma treatment usually includes surgically removing the melanoma in addition to some normal skin care tips.