Table of contents:
- Who is at risk?
- ABCDE system
- Ugly duck
- Moles on the feet
- Dark stripe on the nail
- Unexpected vision problems
- Black spots on mucous membranes
- Halo around a mole
- Colorless pimple
Melanoma is one of the most dangerous cancers. The disease progresses rapidly: metastases appear, it becomes difficult to treat.
Doctors assure that if the disease is detected at an early stage, the chances of success are great, but much depends on the patient and his attentive attitude to his own skin. Contents of the article 1. Who is at risk? 2. ABCDE system 3. "Ugly duckling" 4. Moles on feet 5. Dark strip on the nail 6. Unexpected vision problems 7. Black spots on mucous membranes 8. Halo around the mole 9. Colorless pimple Hide
Who is at risk?
Melanoma can occur in all of us, but there are factors that increase the likelihood of this event. Among them are fair skin and a large number of moles. Genetic factor also plays a role: if a close relative has melanoma, the chances of getting skin cancer increase.
It also plays a role in how often the skin was exposed to sunburn, especially if this happened in childhood. Neglect of protective equipment with SPF filters, heavy use of tanning beds, frequent exposure to bright sun - all these are additional risk factors that increase the chances of getting melanoma.
Doctors emphasize that treatment in many cases would be much successful if patients sought medical help, and did not ignore the appearance of certain changes on the skin.
American dermatologists recommend that patients use the ABCDE system (Asymmetry - asymmetry, Border - contour, Color - color, Diameter - diameter, Evolution - changes) and pay attention to the slightest changes in the state of moles and age spots. Russian specialists have an ACCORD system similar to ABCDE (A - asymmetry, K - bleeding, K - edge, O - color, P - size, D - dynamics).
A mole may start to grow, suddenly become convex, change its usual color, or acquire an asymmetrical shape. You should consult a doctor even if only one of the five parameters has changed, as well as if the mole itches or has a crust on it.
There are less obvious and less well-known signs that are characteristic of melanoma, which doctors also urge to pay attention to.
A neoplasm that seems to be out of place and stands out sharply in its characteristics from other moles and age spots, dermatologists call an ugly duckling. Finding a "duck", which can be not only brown, but also black, gray and red, should alert and become a reason for an appointment with a dermatologist.
Moles on the feet
We are quite familiar with most moles on the arms, shoulders and face, and therefore we can track the changes taking place with them. Doctors note that people monitor the condition of moles on their feet much worse, since they pay much less attention to these moles. A new mole or a change in an old one can be cause for concern.
Dark stripe on the nail
Dark streaks on your fingernails or toenails may be due to injury. Indeed, such marks often appear after a severe injury. But if a strip appears, and you don't even remember that you hit somewhere, then take a closer look at it.
American dermatologist Steven Wang notes that a vertical strip on the nail with a width of more than 3 mm, which at the same time is painted in different shades of gray and brown, in some cases is indeed a sign of melanoma, and its detection requires a visit to a doctor.
Unexpected vision problems
The second most common form of melanoma is ocular melanoma. Most patients do not even suspect about it, and therefore visual impairment is rarely associated with a malignant disease.Among the symptoms that should alert: blurred vision, "flies" in the eyes, a dark spot on the iris, gradually increasing in size.
Black spots on mucous membranes
Melanoma can begin to develop not only on the topmost layer of the skin, but also on mucous membranes such as the gums, inner lips, cheeks, and even eyelids. It can be problematic to notice any changes in such places, but dermatologists recommend examining the mucous membranes at least occasionally. After detecting moles or strange dark spots, a visit to a dermatologist should take place as soon as possible.
Halo around a mole
The appearance of a light spot around the mole should also alert you. Depigmentation can also occur near normal moles, but in some cases, even when the mole itself has not changed in any way, the formation of a halo can indicate melanoma.
A bump or pimple that does not differ in color from the rest of the skin and does not go away for a long time can be a manifestation of non-pigmented melanoma. Ava Shamban, a professor of dermatology from the United States, emphasizes that it is very difficult to diagnose melanoma in this case, since such a formation is practically indistinguishable from a common pimple or manifestations of another malignant formation - basal cell carcinoma.
Doctors say that with early detection, the chances of a complete cure are quite high, and the five-year survival rate reaches 99%. They assure that it is better to go to the doctor and consult than to ignore the identified changes without taking any action.
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