Is melanoma usually benign or malignant?
Melanoma, also redundantly known as malignant melanoma, is a type of skin cancer that develops from the pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes. Melanomas typically occur in the skin, but may rarely occur in the mouth, intestines, or eye (uveal melanoma).
Why is melanoma so malignant?
While it is less common than basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), melanoma is more dangerous because of its ability to spread to other organs more rapidly if it is not treated at an early stage.
How long does it take for melanoma to become malignant?
Melanoma can grow very quickly. It can become life-threatening in as little as six weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun.
What is malignant melanoma defined as?
Malignant melanoma (see the image below) is a neoplasm of melanocytes or a neoplasm of the cells that develop from melanocytes. Although it was once considered uncommon, the annual incidence has increased dramatically over the past few decades.
Is melanoma treatable if caught early?
Melanoma is the most invasive skin cancer with the highest risk of death. While it’s a serious skin cancer, it’s highly curable if caught early. Prevention and early treatment are critical, especially if you have fair skin, blonde or red hair and blue eyes.
Can you live a long life with melanoma?
almost all people (almost 100%) will survive their melanoma for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed. around 90 out of every 100 people (around 90%) will survive their melanoma for 5 years or more after diagnosis.
Where does melanoma usually spread to first?
Normally, the first place a melanoma tumor metastasizes to is the lymph nodes, by literally draining melanoma cells into the lymphatic fluid, which carries the melanoma cells through the lymphatic channels to the nearest lymph node basin.
Can you have melanoma for years and not know?
How long can you have melanoma and not know it? It depends on the type of melanoma. For example, nodular melanoma grows rapidly over a matter of weeks, while a radial melanoma can slowly spread over the span of a decade. Like a cavity, a melanoma may grow for years before producing any significant symptoms.
Where does melanoma usually start?
Melanomas can develop anywhere on the skin, but they are more likely to start on the trunk (chest and back) in men and on the legs in women. The neck and face are other common sites.
Can you have stage 4 melanoma and not know it?
When stage 4 melanoma is diagnosed after a scan, there may be no symptoms at all, and it can be difficult to believe the cancer has spread. However, people with stage 4 melanoma may have a very wide range of symptoms. People who have melanoma diagnosed in the brain are told not to drive.
What are the symptoms of melanoma that has spread?
If your melanoma has spread to other areas, you may have:
- Hardened lumps under your skin.
- Swollen or painful lymph nodes.
- Trouble breathing, or a cough that doesn’t go away.
- Swelling of your liver (under your lower right ribs) or loss of appetite.
- Bone pain or, less often, broken bones.
What is the most aggressive form of melanoma?
Nodular melanoma – This is the most aggressive form of cutaneous melanoma. It typically appears as a dark bump – usually black, but lesions may also appear in other colors including colorless skin tones. This type of melanoma may develop where a mole did not previously exist.