Seeing a Dermatologist for Melanoma
- Posted on: Sep 30 2019
Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, forms due to DNA damage to skin cells that is typically caused by UV radiation exposure. This damage causes skin cells to rapidly multiply and form tumors that are malignant. Melanoma skin cancer originates in melanocytes, or cells that produce skin pigment within the epidermis skin layer. Some melanomas are formed from moles or resemble moles. Most of them are brown or black, but they may also be pink, purple, red, white, or skin-colored.
A Closer Look at Melanoma
Around 200,000 melanoma cases are diagnosed annually in the United States. About half of those will be non-invasive, meaning they are confined to the epidermis skin layer. About 70,000 cases will be invasive, meaning they will penetrate the epidermis skin layer, reaching the dermis underneath.
The good news is that when melanoma is detected and treated in its early stages, it is almost always curable. When it is not detected early, it can spread to other parts of the body and even prove fatal. Even though it is not the most common type of skin cancer, it results in the most fatalities.
Detecting Skin Cancer
Growths, brown spots, and moles on the skin are normally harmless. The more moles that you have, the greater your risk for developing melanoma. This is why it is so important to periodically check your skin for any changes to it. A good time is to scan your body when you are entering or exiting your bath or shower. If you notice sudden changes in the shape, color, size, or sensation of an existing mole, you should contact our dermatologist right away to have it examined to rule out the presence of skin cancer.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery
Mohs micrographic surgery is an impressive skin cancer treatment that uses surgery to remove cancerous skin tissue. This is a highly specialized form of surgery that is a powerful tool for eliminating cancer at the cellular level.
The procedure itself is fairly straightforward. The dermatologist excises the visible portion of the cancerous tumor. A small layer of skin tissue around the area is also removed, and this is examined microscopically to look for tumors that cannot be seen with the naked eye. If more skin cancer is observed in this tissue, the dermatologist will remove a little more skin until all of the cancer is gone.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you suspect that you might have skin cancer, you should schedule an appointment at North Dallas Dermatology Associates immediately so that we can examine you and hopefully rule out this serious skin disease. Contact us today to book your appointment at our office in Dallas.
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