What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a very serious type of skin cancer. It develops in the cells, which are called melanocytes, that produce the pigment to give the skin it’s color. The most common site for melanoma to form on is the legs in woman and the back on men. It is very common to those that live in sunny climates, as well as those that are Caucasian, especially northern and northwestern Europeans. It can form in the eyes, as well as the internal organs, however, this is very rare. If melanoma is not caught in the early stages, it becomes much more dangerous. It causes about three forth of the deaths related to skin cancer. The places that have the highest amount of skin cancers in the world include New Zealand and Australia.

Where can Melanoma Form?

Melanoma can form anywhere on the body. Many are astonished to know that it can even occur on places of the body that do not receive much sunlight, such as the palms of the hands. These places occur more often on those with darker skin tones.

Causes of Melanoma

While the exact cause of melanoma is not known, sunlight exposure will increase the risk of one developing the cancer. The UV rays, which are responsible for harming the skin, are also found in tanning beds and booths. Melanoma is increasing in those that are under the age of 40, especially females.


Melanoma Symptoms

Signs that one may have melanoma include moles that change in appearance. There could also be a new development of pigment or an unusual looking growth on the skin. Should you experience either one, you will need to see your doctor right away. Melanoma can be detected sometimes by just looking at the skin, but your doctor will also take a biopsy of the skin just to be certain.  The types of biopsy he or she may use could include a punch biopsy, an excisional biopsy, or a incisional biopsy. The kind of biopsy that your doctor uses will depend on what your skin situation is.

Melanoma Stages

Should you have melanoma, you will need to know what stage it is in. Your doctor will need to see how thick the melanoma is, which he or she will do with a tool called a micrometer. Once the doctor knows the thickness of the skin cancer, he or she will better be able to set up a treatment plan. Do note that the thicker the melanoma, the more serious it is. Next the doctor will see if the melanoma has spread to lymph nodes that are close to the location where the skin cancer started. The melanoma will be diagnosed with Roman numerals, from I to IV. In stage I, the melanoma is very small and easy to treat.  However by stage IV, the melanoma has spread to other parts of the body, including other organs.

Melanoma Treatment

There are many treatments for melanoma. Your doctor may wish for you to have surgery to remove the effected lymph nodes. Chemotherapy could also be used to destroy the cancer cells. Radiation therapy could be used in conjunction with the surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. Biological therapy will help to fight the cancer by boosting the immune system. Targeted therapy uses medication that will target specific vulnerabilities in the cancer cells.

How to prevent Melanoma?

One can prevent melanoma by wearing sun screen all year long. Many do not think about wearing it in the winter, but one can easily damage their skin then. Wear an SPF of at least 30 and apply it every two hours. Avoid the sun during peak hours, from 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon. Avoid tanning beds and booths, wear protective clothing when outdoors, and exam your skin every month to look for any growths or changes.


Why Choose Advanced Dermatology as your provider of Excessive Sweating Treatment?

At Advanced Dermatology Sydney we are dedicated with a sole purpose of improving skin and in the process we make one single promise, to provide advanced medical in-office and at-home skin treatment that are backed by science. Our doctors and nurses will take the time to discuss and to understand your full requirements and that way assist you in the best possible way.

We know how hard it is to make that first phone call about any cosmetic procedure – we have found many of our patience prefer to fill out our call back contact form in which case one of our friendly staff will contact you to further discuss the procedure you are interested in.

It is as easy as clicking here to request a call back otherwise, you can call us directly on 1300 788 800.

5 replies
  1. Emilia
    Emilia says:

    I am into holistic remedies. I saw recently that you should drink tea before heading outside as the antioxidants in the tea will help the skin not get burned. I can not remember though if it was green or black tea, or maybe even both. Granted you should still apply sunscreen to be fully protected, but I figure any extra measure to not burn and protect my skin is a good one. Any way to help my skin out so I do not get melanoma is something that I am willing to try.

  2. Answers please
    Answers please says:

    What is the best treatment for melanoma? Or does it depend on the stage of melanoma that you are in? My mother in law just was diagnosed with it, and the doctor is meeting with her this week to discuss treatments for her. Anyone have any advice as to which treatment would be the most effective?

  3. Tonny
    Tonny says:

    I swear by wearing sunscreen. Skin cancer runs in my family. My sister had it on her nose and my father has had several bouts with it. I do not want to ever have skin cancer, let alone melanoma, since it is the most serious kind of skin cancer there is. I am very religious about applying it all year long. I reapply every 2 hours like stated. Something that some do not realize is when you apply sunscreen, you need to reapply it like this because one dose is not good for the entire day. And many are not using enough sunscreen. You need a full shot glass each time you put it on. Some say that is just wasting it. Not really…you can either take care of your skin and apply the correct amount so you don’t get burned or you can apply a bit and take the risk of getting burned and getting skin cancer.

  4. Ingrid
    Ingrid says:

    My niece has red hair and is very fair skinned. I do worry about her getting melanoma as skin cancer does run in her family on her father’s side. I know that my sister is concerned about it and does lotion her up well when they are outside, no matter if they are going swimming, playing ball, going boating, or just hanging out. Last year she tried the spray version of sunscreen. I have never been a fan of it and my sister now agrees with me. She burned badly last summer because it just did not seem to work as well as a rub in sunscreen. She did rub it into the skin, but I am not sure if since it was not a thick application, it it just did not cover as well. Not saying that these spray on sunscreens do not work, they just did not work for my niece and I have not had the best experience with them either.


    I burned really bad all the time as a child. I have blonde hair and very fair skin. Even if I apply sunscreen, I still get burned. Maybe I am not applying enough of it or maybe I need to reapply every hour and a half? I worry that one day I will get melanoma. I take extra precautions now. I wear sunglasses with my sunscreen and always make sure to have a hat with me. I keep a hat in my car, and have several by the door for me to pick from. Protecting my skin is a huge priority to me now. I remember burning so bad as a child on my arms, face and back from swimming in the pool. It was not a fun experience and I vow to make it never happen again.


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