Treatments of Melanoma

Essay by kookiekrakJunior High, 9th gradeA+, May 2004

download word file, 7 pages 3.7 1 reviews

Downloaded 69 times

Melanoma is the uncontrolled growth of melanocytes. It is a very serious form of skin cancer ( Melanoma accounts for only four percent of all skin cancer cases but it causes the most cancer related deaths. It starts in skin cells called melanocytes, which produce the skin pigment melanin (Scientific American). When melanoma starts on the skin, is called cutaneous melanoma. It may also develop in the eye, as in ocular melanoma or intraocular melanoma, and in other areas where melanocytes are found, such as the digestive tract, meninges, or lymph nodes. When melanoma spreads to other parts of the body through metastasis, it is called metastatic melanoma.

Melanoma can appear on many parts of the body ( It frequently occurs in men on the shoulders and hips. The head and neck are also places where it occurs often. In females, it usually occurs on the lower legs. It can also appear in areas that are not gender specific.

The fingernails and toenails are some spots. Other areas with a high chance of developing melanoma are the palms and soles. Melanoma can develop almost everywhere on the body but there is a higher chance of it occurring in the areas of specific genders. The chance of developing melanoma increases with age, but it affects all age groups and is one of the most common cancers in young adults.

Melanoma has many different appearances when it is in its early stages of developing ( Sometimes it shows up as a dark brownish spot on the skin. Other times it shows up as shiny, firm, dome shaped bumps. Dark lesions under the fingernails, toenails, palms, sole tips of fingers, toes, or on mucous membranes are also the early stages of melanoma. Sometimes, a simple mole can develop into melanoma. If the mole...