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The ABCDs of Melanoma


A | Asymmetry

One half unline the other half.


B | Border

Irregular, scalloped or poorly circumscribed border



C | Color

Vary one area to another; shades of tan, brown, or black.



D | Diameter

Larger than 6mm as a rule- diamter of a pencil eraser.

Skin Cancer Treatment

Warthan Dermatology provides multiple skin cancer treatments for a variety of skin cancer conditions.

Surgical Excision of Skin Cancer

Certain types of skin cancers such as superficial types of melanoma are best treated not with Mohs surgery but rather with wide, local excision. In this procedure, the abnormal cancer is excised along with a margin of apparently normal skin whose width is determined by the thickness of the lesion on initial biopsy. The resultant wound is then manipulated and closed with sutures in a manner to produce the most acceptable result for the size and location.

Melanoma

Melanoma is a potentially life-threatening skin cancer of the melanocytes, the cells that make melanin (brown pigment). Melanoma’s fatality rate is higher than that of basal cell and squamous cell cancers; it accounts for more than 80 percent of all skin-cancer deaths. Early detection and treatment greatly increase the likelihood of cure. Performing a self-examination in front of a mirror is the best way to detect melanoma in its early stages. If melanoma is suspected, a doctor should be contacted immediately.

Symptoms Of Melanoma

Early signs of melanoma are related to changes in shape or color of existing moles, or the development of new ones. Early signs of melanoma are generally identified by the mnemonic ABCDE:

Asymmetry

Border irregularity

Color variation

Diameter greater than 6 mm

Evolution over time

Early signs of melanoma may develop from existing moles or may resemble moles. The majority of melanomas are black or brown, but

can also be skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white. During later stages, a melanoma may itch or bleed. If a melanoma is diagnosed and treated in its early stages, it is usually curable; however, during later stages, it can rapidly spread to other parts of the body, become hard to treat, and possibly be fatal.

Causes Of Melanoma

What causes melanoma is not known, although there are many suspected risk factors, including:

  • Familial tendency to develop freckles or prominent/atypical moles
  • Presence of many freckles, moles, large moles or atypical moles
  • Family history of melanoma
  • Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation
  • Overexposure to sunlight prior to age 18
  • Caucasian ancestry, with fair skin
  • Sun sensitivity or poor tanning ability
  • Immune-system deficiency
  • Previous melanoma

Although Caucasian ancestry is a suspected risk factor, all races and skin tones are susceptible to melanoma.

Treatment For Melanoma

Treatment for melanoma depends on its location, thickness and progression, as well as the patient’s age, health, medical history and preferences. A biopsy is often performed to determine the extent of the cancer. Most often, the appropriate treatment is surgery, followed by adjuvant therapy, including interferon and vaccines, for patients at great risk for the cancer’s spreading throughout the body. Other common options are chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as biologic therapy, which includes interferon, cytokines, monoclonal antibodies and vaccines, to improve the body’s self-defense abilities.

Elta MD® Sunscreen

Manufactured by Swiss-American Products, Inc., Elta® skincare products can be used to enhance and maintain the overall health and appearance of the skin, as well as to treat conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, incontinence and more. Elta’s advanced line of sunscreens contains zinc oxide, which blocks both UVA and UVB rays for complete sun protection.

Elta MD Sunscreen

These products are safe to use on patients of all ages and skin types, including on babies. There are six different formulas to choose from, so that each and every person can receive the sun protection they need for their unique skin.


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The ABCDs of Melanoma


A | Asymmetry

One half unline the other half.


B | Border

Irregular, scalloped or poorly circumscribed border



C | Color

Vary one area to another; shades of tan, brown, or black.



D | Diameter

Larger than 6mm as a rule- diamter of a pencil eraser.

Dr. Warthan and her staff were extremely caring during my Mohs procedure. They answered all of my questions and the surgery went just as expected and now I am cancer free!

Robert

Mohs Surgery Patient