Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that originates in the melanocytes, which are skin cells that produce the pigment called melanin. While melanoma can be fatal, it is easy to treat if caught early. While melanoma is usually black or brown, it can be other colors, like red, white, or flesh-toned. It is most famous for developing within a mole, but it can also develop on normal-looking skin. At Gold Skin Care Center, we are proud to offer melanoma detection and treatment right here in Nashville.
What are the ABCDEs of Melanoma?
A simple way to catch melanoma early is to perform a monthly skin exam and look for any abnormalities, like a wound that won’t heal, that could indicate skin cancer.
The ABCDEs of melanoma involve a collection of signs that can indicate possible melanoma:
A = Asymmetry
B = Border
C = Color
D = Diameter
E = Evolving
A normal, non-cancerous mole has matching halves and an even, clearly defined border. It is the same color and shade throughout, and it is generally smaller than a pencil eraser. Normal moles also don’t change.
By contrast, a melanoma can have asymmetrical halves and an indistinct and/or jagged border. It can be several different colors or shades, and it often has a larger diameter than a pencil eraser. Melanomas will change size, shape, and/or color as they progress.
Other Possible Signs of Cancer
People performing skin exams on themselves should also look for the following:
- A sore that either doesn’t heal or reopens after apparently healing
- Moles that bleed, itch, or change
- Dark streaks under the nails
- A cluster of pink or red scaly lesions that are slowly growing
- Dome-shaped growths that are translucent and pearly
- Large brown spots containing darker speckles
If the patient finds a suspicious mole or sore, they should contact our office in Nashville and learn more about melanoma detection and the available treatment options.
What Does a Skin Biopsy Involve?
In a skin or cutaneous biopsy, we will remove at least part of the targeted area on the skin’s surface to have it examined. The patient will typically be given a local anesthetic. There are several different techniques, and we will pick one depending on our suspicions regarding the type of cancer and its extent.
In addition to determining whether the patient has melanoma, we will also be able to tell how aggressive the cancer is. After the melanoma detection, we will then decide what treatment, if any, the patient needs.
You can get started with our melanoma detection and treatment services by scheduling a consultation at Gold Skin Care Center in Nashville. We want to help you have healthy, beautiful skin. Contact us today to book an appointment!