Effective melanoma treatment in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with Cumberland Skin’s board-certified dermatologists.
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a rare form of skin cancer that begins in the melanocytes, which are the cells located in the epidermis (top layer of skin) that produce melanin. Melanin is what gives the skin its pink, tan, and brown coloring.
When the skin is exposed to ultraviolet light (UV rays), such as those from the sun, the melanocytes respond by releasing excess melanin to protect the deeper layers of skin from damage. This excessive exposure to UV rays increases the risk for DNA mutations within the cells. When cell DNA mutates, they begin to reproduce out of control, which causes cancerous lesions and tumors to form.
If you are interested in learning more about melanoma skin cancer, such as its symptoms and treatment options in Hendersonville, read our helpful FAQs section. Our dermatologists answer the most frequently asked questions regarding this common skin cancer.
Considering melanoma develops in the melanocytes, melanomas are typically black or brown (but they can also appear as pink, white, or tan).
It’s also important to understand that only 20 to 30 percent of melanomas start in moles; the majority actually arise on “normal-looking” skin. However, if you notice a change in any moles, such as a change in size, shape, coloring, or texture, visit a board-certified dermatologist as soon as possible.
To get a better understanding of what signs and symptoms you should look out for, follow the ABCDE guide:
- A for Asymmetry: one half of the mole or spot looks different than the other half
- B for Border: the edges of the mole or spot are scalloped, notched, or uneven
- C for Color: the mole or spot presents uneven coloring
- D for Diameter: the mole or spot is 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser) or larger
- E for Evolving: the mole or spot changes in size, shape, color, or texture.
As mentioned above, most melanomas begin in what looks like normal skin. Thus, it’s important to do full-body examinations every month to keep an eye out for any changes in your skin. Furthermore, make sure to schedule an annual skin cancer screening with a board-certified dermatologist for a professional evaluation.
Itching can be a symptom of skin cancer. However, itching is more commonly associated with basal and squamous cell carcinoma, rather than melanoma. Nonetheless, if you experience itching and notice a suspicious spot or mole, we urge you to visit a board-certified dermatologist for a more comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis.
Out of all the skin cancer types, melanoma poses the highest risk of metastasizing (spreading). Melanoma initially spreads radially (sideways or horizontally) into the adjacent epidermis and, at some point, begins to spread vertically and becomes thicker. Over time, melanoma may spread into other parts of the body through the lymphatic system.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer due to its high risk of metastasizing. Once the melanoma has spread into other parts of the body, it is very difficult to treat and completely cure.
This is why it’s important to visit a board-certified dermatologist for a professional evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment plan if you notice any warning signs and symptoms of melanoma.
There are several types of melanoma, with many affecting other areas of the body. These melanoma types include:
- Superficial Special Melanoma (SSM)
- Nodular Melanoma
- Lentigo Maligna Melanoma
- Acral Lentiginous Melanoma
- Eye Melanoma
- Mucosal Melanoma
If you would like to learn more about these types of melanoma, reach out to one of our board-certified dermatologists. Our expertise in this field is unparalleled, and we’re happy to answer any additional questions you may have.
Like many other skin cancers, melanoma can be completely cured with early detection and effective treatment.
However, it’s important to understand that early detection is essential for a successful treatment. Unfortunately, not all patients with advanced melanoma survive. This is why it is crucial to visit a board-certified dermatologist for an annual skin cancer screening. Your provider will be better equipped to identify and detect suspicious spots or moles that may be melanoma skin cancer.
However, our board-certified dermatologists most often recommend either Mohs surgery or surgical excision to treat melanoma skin cancer. For more information on these treatments, contact our team today.
Board-Certified Melanoma Treatment in Hendersonville, Tennessee
Do you have symptoms of melanoma? Visit one of the board-certified dermatologists at Cumberland Skin. Our providers are experts in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating melanoma skin cancer in Hendersonvile, Tennessee. Rest assured, we can restore the health of your skin with professional dermatology solutions!