Doctor insights on:
Melanoma Staging Prognosis
Are small melanomas <5mm in diameter less likely to be invasive? Do they have better prognosis than melanomas of larger diameter?
Skin is the largest and one of the most complex organs in the body composed of hundreds of different structures. Nearly any of these elements can degenerate into cancer. However the three most common 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 & ...Read more
How does the number of cases of melanoma compare in light skinned vs. Medium skinned vs. Dark skinned persons?
Learn your ABCD's: Definitive diagnosis is made by biopsy. Melanomas are screened by the abcd's: a-asymmetry; b-irregular borders; c-different colors; d-diameber >6mm (size of pencil eraser). If you notice a mole with these characteristics, get it checked out asap. If you have a skin lesion which is growing, ulcerating, bleeding, or otherwise changing, get it seen as well for evaluation and possible biopsy. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Highly variable: There are aggressive fast-spreading cancers and there are slow-spreading cancers. An aggressive fast-spreading melanoma can metastasize even before it's visible on the skin. Some superficial slow-spreading melanomas may spread wide but not deep and may not invade the bloodstream for many months. The problem is there's no predicting how a melanoma is going to behave so early detection is key. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
In what age range is someone most likely to have a melanoma? During what age range does it not occur?
Melanoma: It is very rare in young children (they don't get much sun, and not enough time for genetics or heredity to have their effect), and becomes increasingly common after the late teens. Chronic sun exposure or a strong family history are the major risk factors. Pigmented moles that are asymmetric, with an irregular border, with a change to a darker color, larger than 1/2 a centimeter should be checked. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Yes: In addition to the surgery mentioned, there are new drugs for melanoma. One, called ipilumimab, is not chemotherapy. It is an immunologic therapy that was approved for use in 2011. It is the first drug to improve survival in stage IV melanoma, and some patients are alive 5-6 years after diagnosis with stage IV melanoma while on the drug. Have hope! ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Many diseases have specific treatments based on their severity. A disease can have certain criteria to determine their severity and applying this criteria to determine how advanced the disease state is called staging. Most commonly this is applied to cancer, and be determining how far the cancer has spread locally and/or to distant sites a stage of cancer can be ...Read more
Melanoma iscancer of melanocytes. Melanocytesare cells that produce the dark pigment, melanin, which is responsible for the color of skin. These cells predominantly occur in skin, but are also found in other parts of the body, including the bowel and the eye (see uveal melanoma). Melanoma can originate in any part of the ...Read more
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