There are several risk factors to the causes of melanoma skin cancer including family history, gender, age, race, and having certain moles. However, UV rays are definitely a dominant cause of melanoma.
Melanoma is the most common skin cancer in children. The American Childhood Cancer Organization advocates for crucial research on treatments appropriate for the bodies of children. You can help give the fight against childhood cancer the awareness it deserves by donating a car to the American Childhood Cancer Organization through Donate-a-Car.
4 Ways to Lower Your Risk of Melanoma
1. Stay out of the sun.
Simply not going out into the sun is the best way to limit one’s exposure to UV rays. Stay in the shade. If you are going to be in the sun, wear clothing to cover your skin, apply sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses.
2. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds
Long-term damage to your skin can come from the UV rays in tanning lamps. In fact, the use of tanning beds have been connected with a higher risk of melanoma, especially in younger people.
3. Check for abnormal moles
Inspect your skin on a monthly basis to help spot any abnormal moles or new growths. Be sure and show them to your physician before any possibility that they could grow into skin cancer. If you see a new, changing or uncommon mole, get it looked at by a doctor specializing in recognizing skin cancers.
4. Keep your immune system strong
When you have a weakened immune system, it increases your risk of getting different types of skin cancer including melanoma.
Treatment of Melanoma
The standard method in treating melanoma up to stage 3 is to remove it surgically. In the majority of cases, melanoma can be surgically removed in your physician’s office or in an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia. If there is scarring after the surgery heals, they are typically small and improve as time goes on. Stage 3 melanoma typically will also include lymph node dissection as well to check for spreading. Radiation therapy might be considered focused on the areas where lymph nodes were removed.
Melanoma skin cancer that is at stage 4 can sometimes be more difficult to cure because it has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Usually surgery to remove enlarged lymph nodes or radiation therapy is used.
It is possible for melanoma to come back close to the area of the original tumor or even in the scar from the surgery. Typically, these are treated surgically, with other treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy considered afterwards.