Doctor insights on:
What Happens In The Body When You Have Melanoma
Nothing if caught: Melanoma can be cured with excision if it is found and removed early. If it spreads (metastasis) it can travel to lymph nodes or just about anywhere else in the body (lungs, brain, bones, etc). Once it has spread, it is much more difficult to treat and cure. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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
Via blood and lymph: Like other cancers, melanomas spread (metastasize) via 2 pathways. First, via the lymph system, where the tumor gets caught in lymph nodes. Sentinel node biopsy is helpful to determine lymph node involvement. Next, it can spread via the blood. That's how melanoma can go from your skin anywhere to the brain, lung, liver, etc. It's propensity to do this makes melanoma so dangerous. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Appearance is variab: Lesions are usually pigmented and have variations in shade from light brown to black. Occasionally melanoma may not be pigmented. The edges may be indistinct, and they may bleed spontaneously. It's unlikely to be widespread without significant symptoms. Spread is also variable, ranging from a few months to many years after the initial presentation. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Can melanoma occur even in people who don't get much sun? Or on parts of one's body that don't get much sunlight?
Skin and retina: Malignant melanomas most commonly develop in the skin as the cell of origin, the melanocytes, are most numerous in the skin. However, there are also some cases of retinal melanomas. These are only detected by routine eye exams. This is why, in addition to routine skin checks, we also encourage sunglasses and yearly eye checks. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
I am always worried about getting melanoma. I wear sunscreen, get yearly (sometimes more) full body checks and do self checks.How can I quit worrying?
Sounds like a phobia: Phobias are unreasonable or irrational fears. They interfere with one's ability to live a happy, normal life. Psychiatric evaluation and treatment is needed. Best to start soon. Sometimes, one's primary care doctor can evaluate and start medication for anxiety or obsessive symptoms, if the patient does not have easy access to a psychiatrist. ...Read more
If a suspected mole is left without being removed, and it turned out to be melanoma , what will happen to the body , what the person will feel?
Yes: Common sites are the lymph nodes, lung and liver, but it can potentially spread anywhere. ...Read more
Yes: Lactate dehydrogenase (ldh) can be elevated in metastatic melanoma. When it is, it is a poor prognostic sign. Another, less proven, test is called tumor antigen 90 (ta-90). It is thought by some to be elevated in advanced melanoma. I have found it to be nonspecific and no longer use it in my practice, however. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
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