Melanoma Cancer

About Melanoma Skin Cancer

Melanoma Cancer is a type of skin cancer.  It is the most dangerous type of skin cancer.  It is the leading cause of death with skin cancer.  Melanoma is less common, but more serious than other types of skin cancer.  Melanomas are usually brown or black, but can appear pink, tan or even white.  Unusual sores, lumps, blemishes, markings of changes in the way of an area of the skin looks or feels, may be a sign of Melanoma of another type of skin cancer, or a warning that might occur.  

Symptoms to Melanoma Skin Cancer

Signs of melanoma in an existing mole include changes in:

  • Elevation, such as thickening or raising of a previously flat mole.
  • Surface, such as scaling, erosion, oozing, bleeding, or crusting.
  • Surrounding skin, such as redness, swelling, or small new patches of color around a larger lesion (satellite pigmentations).
  • Sensation, such as itching, tingling, burning, or pain.
  • Consistency, such as softening or small pieces that break off easily.

Some symptoms of Melanoma Skin Cancer are:

  • Itching
  • Bleeding
  • Color of a mole

Cancer Growth

Stages of Melanoma

Early melanomas are localized; Stage O tumors are in sit, meaning that they are noninvasive and have not penetrated below the surface of the skin, while Stage I tumors have invaded the skin but are small, non ulcerated, and are growing at a slow mitotic rate. Stage II tumors, though localized, are larger and/or may be ulcerated or have a mitotic rate of greater than than 1/mm 2; they are considered intermediate melanomas. More advanced melanomas have spread to other parts of the body. There are also subdivisions within stages.  Metastasis means the transference of disease-producing organisms or of malignant or cancerous cells to other parts of the body by way of the blood or lymphatic vessels or membranous surfaces.  

Treatments to Melanoma

Once melanoma has been diagnosed an staged, your cancer care team will discuss your treatment options with you. Depending on your situation, you may have different types of doctors on your treatment team. These doctors may include:

  • A dermatologist: a doctor who treats diseases of the skin.
  • A surgical oncologist (or oncologist surgeon): a doctor who uses surgery to treat cancer.
  • A medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy.
  • A radiation oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with radiation

Radiation is when the cancer shrinks, and removes the cancer, chemotherapy helps the cancer stops all of the cells, the surgery will remove the cancer.  

Survival Rates

 Stage                  5-year survival                        10-year survival

IA                                97%                                              95%

IB                                92%                                             86%

IIA                               81%                                             67%

IIB                               70%                                             57%

IIC                               53%                                             40%

IIIA                             78%                                             68%

IIIB                             59%                                              43%

IIIC                             40%                                              24%

 IV                         15% to 20%                               10% to 15%

While numbers provide an overall picture, keep in mind that every person’s situation is unique and that statistics can’t predict exactly what will happen in your case. Many cases other than the stage can also affect a person’s outlook, such as the gene changes in the cancer cells and how well the cancer responds to treatment. Talk with your cancer care team if you have questions about your own chances of a cure, or how long you might survive your cancer.  Remission means a temporary recovery.  

Comment Stream