Melanoma: symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment
The most malignant tumor occurring in the human body, is skin melanoma. This cancer can occur at any age, regardless of the sex of the patient. Although among women, melanoma is diagnosed more often than men.
Melanoma is formed from melanocytes, which are responsible for production of melanin pigment. Therefore, melanoma is usually dark in color, but can meet and pigmentless types of tumors.
The reasons for the development
It is believed that melanoma develops in the injury of nevi, located on open areas of the body. A greater role played by the combination of effects of the environment on the human body and the main factor. Although to date the exact causes of melanoma are not fully understood, there are several factors contributing to the emergence of the cancer process:
- the action of ultraviolet light on the skin;
- the white color of the skin;
- hereditary factor;
- old age;
In very rare cases, melanoma begins in the vagina, in conjuctiva, rectum or nasal mucosa.
Signs of melanoma
Malignancy formed in place of the birthmark in the chest, back, or extremities. Most dangerous is melanoma from epidermal nevus of the scrotum, the soles of the feet or palms.
When the degeneration of nevus into a malignant tumor, this represents an increase in size, presence of infiltration, discoloration, and bleeding. The surface may be eroded, although at the initial stage special clinical symptoms may be absent.
Melanoma looks like a thick formation of black color, or as nodules pink hue. Tumor size varies from 0.5 cm to 3 cm in diameter.
In medical practice there are three main forms of cutaneous melanoma: malignant lentigo, acrolina melanoma and nodular melanoma. Particularly aggressiveness differs nodular form, which is found in persons of advanced age in the neck, head or back.
Long duration observed in malignant lentigo in which the education looks like the plaque is black. Is formed on the exposed areas of the skin.
The doctor performs a clinical examination of the patient. In the first place should be signs of cancer: change in color, density, etc. is taken into account the condition and age of the patient, hereditary factors and other relevant indicators.
To determine the malignancy of the process taken for Cytology from the affected area. The diagnosis is the presence of atypical cells in the mole.
It is also necessary to differentiate melanoma from benign skin pathologies. To determine possible metastases by ultrasound, CT or x-ray examination.
For the treatment of melanoma used complex therapy, which includes surgical treatment, radiotherapy, treatment with drugs and other methods.
Good therapeutic effect is the combination of the removal of the tumor with subsequent radiation therapy. This method makes it possible to remove the remaining tumor cells. Also connects immunotherapy enables the body itself to fight cancer and speed recovery.
To prevent the development of melanoma should avoid the trauma of moles, not to stay long under direct sunlight and undergo periodic medical examination for pathology.