What is Melanoma?

 In Cosmetic Procedures

Imagine going about your day when you notice an irregular black “tumor” somewhere on your body. This can be very alarming, and you probably will not know what it is. This black tumor-like spot on your body is melanoma. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. This cancer can start as a mole, or just as normal skin. In many cases melanoma does not start out as a mole. Because of this fact it is important to always be aware of any strange marks on your body. Melanoma can appear anywhere on the body. For women a common place to have melanoma is their legs, men are prone to getting it on their upper back. Early detection and treatment are important as they directly affect treatment success. The earlier the cancer is caught the smaller the depth of the cancer. 

 

A major risk factor for melanoma is UV light exposure, sunlight. UV rays damage a cell’s DNA, changing genes. These mutated cells divide and can potentially become a cancerous tumor. Tanning in a tanning bed also increases your risk of developing melanoma. Other risks include family history of melanoma, a weak immune system, excessive sun exposure, and a history of using tanning beds. 

 

Consult your Plastic Surgeon Utah County surgeon, if you notice any signs that you may have melanoma or if you have any of the risk factors and would like to ensure you do not have it. Early detection can save you pain later on, as treatments will have to be more extensive if the cancer has progressed. Once you are diagnosed your doctor will talk you through all available treatment options. You will work together to create a treatment plan that works for you and your body. You can get your melanoma taken care of and continue to live your life. 

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