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Doctor insights on: Is Melanoma Always Malignant

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What are the criteria for determining malignancy in melanoma? Aren't all melanoma malignant?

What are the criteria for determining malignancy in melanoma? Aren't all melanoma malignant?

Yes: All melanomas are considered malignant however they have different levels of metastatic potential. This means that some melanomas have the ability to spread to other parts of the body while others, especially in situ melanomas, have little or no risk of metastasis.

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Dr. Mike Bowman
955 Doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Definition)

A condition in which some element of your skin--which is one of the most complex organs in the body--degenerates into cancer. The three most common types of skin cancer are: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma which occur in that order and degree of aggressiveness. Although heredity plays a major role, sun exposure and tobacco use and ...Read more


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What is a malignant melanoma?

What is a malignant melanoma?

Skin cancer: In its most typical form, melanoma is a cancer that originates in cells of the skin called melanocytes. In some cases melanoma can spread to other organs from the skin. More rare types of melanoma start in the eyes, colon, mouth, bladder and other organs.

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How can one get malignant melanoma?

How can one get malignant melanoma?

Genetic and UV: Melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes. It does have a familial component - meaning there are genetic mutations that put you at higher risk for development of melanoma. Uv exposure (especially with tanning beds) can put you at high risk as well.

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What are the symptoms of malignant melanoma?

Varies: Many melanomas are without symptoms. Some are itchy, irritated, or may bleed. They have often changed shape, size or color, but these changes are usually asymptomatic. If the melanoma has spread, there are multiple other symptoms that could possibly occur.

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Can malignant melanoma be found inside the body?

Can malignant melanoma be found inside the body?

Yes: Surprisingly, these can and sometimes do pop up in places that have never been sun-exposed. Famously this can happen within the deep vulva and the esophagus.

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Can malignant melanoma be treated by oncothermia?

Can malignant melanoma be treated by oncothermia?

No evidence: Standard of care is surgical resection for early stages. For unresectable stage 3 or metastatic stage 4, treatments can be chemotherapy (dacarbzine or temodar), or immunotherapy such as interleukin-2, or ipilimumab. Targeted drugs for braf-positive melanoma are zelboraf, tafinlar, or mekinist. Enroll in a clinical trial is highly recommended. No evidence that oncothermia by itself is effective.

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Can malignant melanoma be treated with oncothermia?

Can malignant melanoma be treated with oncothermia?

Not typically: This technique of heating tumor has been used in melanoma in a very limited way. One way, in the past was to isolate the vessels of a leg and pump heated chemotherapy through it. It had limited success. The recent exciting treatment through targeted therapy and control of the immune system have made oncothermia less interesting in melanoma in the us.

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What are the symptoms of malignant melanoma on your back?

What are the symptoms of malignant melanoma on your back?

Skin mole: Melanoma doesn't usually hurt or cause symptoms. Sometimes it itches or bleeds easily. If it is very large it can cause pain. If it has spread to other organs it can also cause symptoms. But if it is small and just on the back, it doesn't cause much in the line of symptoms. Visit your doctor to talk about your options to determine if it really is melanoma (punch biopsy or shave biopsy).

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What is the definition or description of: malignant melanoma?

What is the definition or description of: malignant melanoma?

Skin cancer: Malignant melanoma is a cancer that begins usually in the pigmented cells (melanocytes) of the skin. It is generally considered the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Most cases are localized and caught fairly early but some people will develop widespread metastatic disease and die.

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Can you please tell me how melanoma and malignant melanoma differ?

Can you please tell me how melanoma and malignant melanoma differ?

No difference: These are equivalent terms because there is no such thing as a benign melanoma!

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How long can you live if your malignant melanoma is treated before it spreads?

Cure possible: It can be cured. Make sure you are being managed by a dermatologist with cancer experiencce.

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I have what looks like the beginning stages of malignant melanoma, but I can't be sure. I don't have health insurance. What are my options?

I have what looks like the beginning stages of malignant melanoma, but I can't be sure. I don't have health insurance. What are my options?

Melanoma kill: Not sure what you mean by early stage. Early stage melanoma can not reliably diagnoses clinically. Pathologic diagnose is required. Once this is done, you and your doctor should know exactly what to do.

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Is malignant melanoma totally curable?

No: It depends on the stage. Stage ia has about a 98% cure rate, but most people with stage 4 will not be cured with any of the treatments that we have available.

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What can I do to prevent malignant melanoma?

Protect you, family: Please stay out of the sun and away from tanning beds. Use sunscreen protection and wear clothing and hats to cover the body. Have checks of your skin as advised by your doctors.

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Can malignant melanoma be treated with chemo?

Another option: This year was amazing for finally having some options to treat mm, including ipilimumab and also vemurafenib. Early diagnosis by getting screened by a board-certified dermatologist is essential to having the highest cure rate. Check yourself and your partner monthly and get to the derm if you notice any new or changing spot!

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How high is survival rate for malignant melanoma?

Varies: It depends on depth of melanoma at time of excision and whether any lymph nodes are involved. Early melanomas less than. 75 millimeters have close to a 100 per cent survival. Dpeer melanomas greater than 1 mom, then greater 2 mm, and 3 mm. Have lower per cent age of 5 year cure rate. There are 2 new drugs for advanced melanomas. Early treatment is essential.

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What is the survival rate for malignant melanoma?

Depends on stage: 5 year overall survival: stage i: 85-95% stage ii: 53-80% stage iii: 40-80% stage iv: 15-20%.

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What's the highest survival rate for malignant melanoma?

What's the highest survival rate for malignant melanoma?

Depends on depth: The prognosis for melanoma depends greatly on the stage at diagnosis. In the absence of spread to lymph nodes or other sites, the depth of the melanoma is the most important factor which predicts outcome. The deeper the tumor invades the more risk of it spreading/recurring. I caught early, melanoma is very curable. Discuss the case in question with your dermatologist or oncologist.

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Is it common to put oneself at risk for malignant melanoma of the skin?

Is it common to put oneself at risk for malignant melanoma of the skin?

Yes: Most skin cancers are related to excess sun exposure. Fortunately, despite how often we suffer significant sun damage, melanoma is uncommon.

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Dr. Travis Kidner
2,631 Doctors shared insights

Melanoma (Definition)

Cancer of the melanocyte cells. Melanocyte cells determine the color of your skin. Although these cells are primarily found in your skin, they can also be found in the bowel ...Read more


Malignant (Definition)

The term “malignant” is mainly used in the context of cancer, but can also be used to describe a condition that can be acutely damaging to the body, ...Read more