Malignant melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, however it is often treatable with surgery alone if detected early enough.
Rates of malignant melanoma are on the rise in the UK, so it’s important to have any unusual moles or skin changes checked by a specialist as soon as possible.
Melanomas can potentially occur anywhere on the body. While they can develop in an existing mole that begins to change appearance, most of the time, melanomas appear as a new mole. If you have a changing pigmented lesion on the skin, please get it checked by a dermatologist. Find more information below on malignant melanoma, and treatments available at The Dermatology Clinic London.
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About malignant melanoma
Melanomas sometimes occur in an existing mole on the skin. However, more than 50 percent of the time, melanomas appear as a new mole. They can be nodular and sometimes ulcerate or bleed.
Checking for moles
It’s important to check your moles for changes in shape, size or colour as these are all warning signs of melanoma. You can look for signals using the ABCD approach:
Asymmetry: an irregular or unusual looking mole
Border: a mole with an irregular border
Colour: a mole containing more than two colours or with a mottled appearance, or one that’s very dark in colour
Diameter: a mole that appears to be getting bigger
“ Skin cancer rates have been steadily on the rise over the past 30 years, it’s essential for people to check their skin regularly, making it a part of their routine. Early detection saves lives. ”
Malignant melanoma treatment
Rapid treatment is essential for malignant melanoma. This involves surgically removing the lesion with a scalpel and sending it to the lab for testing. Before surgery, your dermatologist will inject a local anaesthetic to the area so you won’t feel any discomfort.
The next step will depend on the diagnosis from the lab. If the diagnosis is positive, you’ll require another operation to remove more of the tissue surrounding the melanoma site. This is done to ensure no cancerous cells have been left behind and decreases the chances of a melanoma returning in the future.
It’s important to remember that the earlier your melanoma is diagnosed and treated, the less chance of the cancer spreading. If you’re worried about a mole on any part of your body, don’t hesitate to give The Dermatology Clinic a call. Our dedicated team will help to put your mind at ease and make sure you receive the right treatment as quickly as possible, with the highest quality of care.