Jamsen Hayden period 8

Skin Cancer: Melanoma

Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells triggers mutations (genetic faults) that lead the skin cells to go crazy and grow everywhere and form malignant tumors.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a major contributor in most cases. Heredity also plays a role.

The most common early signs of melanoma are:

  • Growing mole on your skin (visible).
  • Unusual looking mole on your skin or a mole that does not look like any other mole on your skin.

General treatment information

Depending on your situation, you may have different types of doctors on your treatment team. These doctors may include:

  • Dermatologist: a doctor who treats diseases of the skin.
  • Surgical oncologist : a doctor who uses surgery to treat cancer.
  • Medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with medicines.
  • Radiation oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with radiation therapy.

Many other specialists may be involved in your care as well, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, nutrition specialists, social workers.

Based on the stage of the cancer and other factors, your treatment options may include:

  • Surgery
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

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