Skin Cancer - Melanoma

June 5, 2018 Source: Internal - Gleb Danylov

As summer is approaching and the weather is getting more sunny, there are several precautions you need to take in order to protect yourself from getting skin cancer. Being outside playing in the sun, exposes you to the harmful UV rays that come from the sun. It is estimated that 40% to 50% of fair-skinned people will develop at least one from of skin cancer by the age of 65.

Types of Melanoma

Skin cancers include melanoma, basal cell and squamos cell. Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer and it starts in cells that give your skin its color, called melanocytes. Melanocytes can group together and from moles on the skin that appear as bumps or spots, usually brown in color. Moles are a form of benign, not cancerous tumors. However, changes to melanocytes from carcinogens can make these moles malignant. There are 4 main types of melanoma skin cancer. Superficial melanoma is the most common type and usually only spreads over your skin. Other types of melanoma skin cancer include nodular, lentigo maligna and acral lentiginous melanoma. Nodular is the second most common and instead of growing over the skin, it grows down into it. It spreads faster and the growth may be shaped like a mushroom with a stem and stalk. The other types are more rare and occur less frequently.

Warning Signs

To identify if any of your moles are cancerous, it is important to know your skin well and be aware of any changes that occur. Identify any odd shaped moles and look for these ABCDE signs:

  • Asymmetry: If you draw a line through the middle and the two sides do not match, the mole may be cancerous
  • Border: The borders of a melanoma tend to be uneven and can sometimes look like they are blending into the skin.
  • Color: Most moles are shade of brow or pink. Having a variety of colors is a sign of melanoma, and they may often become red, or purple.
  • Diameter: Moles should be smaller than the eraser end of your pencil. Melanoma may often be smaller when detected and grow in their later stages.
  • Evolving: If you notice it is starting to get larger over time, or develop any bumps, it is a sign that it may be a melanoma.
  • If you notice any of these warning signs, you should head to a doctor as soon as possible to have more tests done.


    The earlier the melanoma is detected, the easier it would be to treat. Since, the longer you wait the more chances there are that cancer has spread making it more difficult to treat. When you visit your doctors, they will make a specific treatment plan just for you specifically on the type of melanoma you have and the duration you have had it. Often, surgery would be performed to remove the cancerous tumor. Furthermore, radiation therapy and chemotherapy might be used as well depending on the severity of the cancer.