What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops from pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes. It is also known as malignant melanoma.
Disease Etiology (Causes)
The most known causes are exposure to ultraviolet sunlight, lighter skin tone, prior radiation therapy, long-term exposure to arsenic, long-term exposure and skin burns from tanning beds, having low immunity, and certain genetic conditions like xeroderma pigmentosum. Xeroderma pigmentosum is a genetic skin disease or disorder in which the sufferer has a lower tolerating ability to sun exposure result into sunburns, dry skin, changes in skin color, and wrinkles at the exposed area of the skin.
Around the globe, melanoma occurred in 232,000 individuals in 2012 and resulted in 55,000 deaths. Australia and New Zealand have the highest melanoma incidence and prevalence in the world. Over the last 20 years, it’s become more prevalent in areas that are predominantly Caucasian. With treatment, the five-year survival rate in the United States is 99% in people with localized disease, 65% when the disease has spread to the lymph nodes, and 25% in patients with the distant spread.
Signs and symptoms
Melanomas usually occur in the skin, but rarely can occur in the mouth, intestines, or eyes. In women, they are most often found on legs, while in men, they are most often found on the back. They develop from moles in about 25% of cases. Changes in moles, such as changes in color, size, marginal regularity, and skin integrity, are some of the signs of melanoma. Melanoma can also develop in the form of a nodule, which is a growing, raised patch of skin that is dense to the touch.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The following diagnostic test and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis.
- Skin biopsy for histopathological examination
Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. Treatment is usually removed with surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy should be considered in advance in cases where the tumor has spread to other parts of the body.
What Support can we Give for Melanoma?
Melanoma is a rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Melanoma, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
You can help us with your donation:
Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: Donations — Without a Ribbon is grateful when we receive every donation. Giving to Without a Ribbon helps us to provide ongoing support, organise the annual gathering and subsidise the costs of our Warriors attending these conferences. Sponsorship — If you wish to sponsor our charity, please contact us using this form. Volunteering — We are always looking for volunteers to help with different aspects of running our charity. So, if you are looking for volunteer work, please feel free to contact us.