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Doctor insights on: What Happens In The Body When You Have Melanoma

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What happens in the body when you have melanoma?

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 more

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Dr. Mike Bowman
887 doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Definition)

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


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How does melanoma spread throughout the body?

How does melanoma spread throughout the body?

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 more

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What does melanoma look like ? Coulbit be all over the body ? And how fast does it spread?

What does melanoma look like ?  Coulbit be all over the body ? And how fast does it spread?

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 more

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Which parts of the human body are affected by melanoma?

Which parts of the human body are affected by melanoma?

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 more

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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. ...Read more

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Can an advanced melanoma that has spread in all the body have signs in normal blood test?

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 more

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Could metastatic melanoma spread anywhere in the body?

Could metastatic melanoma spread anywhere in the body?

Yes: Common sites are the lymph nodes, lung and liver, but it can potentially spread anywhere. ...Read more

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Does melanoma typically present as an enlarging mole or spot on the body?

Yes and more: Melanoma may develop in an existing mole in which case one may see change in size, shape, border, pigmentation, bleeding, itchiness and ulceration etc. Melanoma can develop in normal skin and mucus membranes as well. See this site for more info. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/melanoma/basics/definition/con-20026009 ...Read more

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Dr. Travis Kidner
2,557 doctors shared insights

Melanoma (Definition)

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