Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that usually appears as red blotchy patches on the skin, but it can also occur inside the mouth, the eyes, and intestines. By the time the cancer is noticed, it could have spread to other parts of the body. If the disease has spread beyond the skin, the treatment options may include surgery to remove the affected lymph nodes, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and biological therapy.
Being aware of the symptoms could save your life. Below are the melanoma symptoms that you should never ignore:
One of the more common symptoms of melanoma is dark streaks under the fingernails. This may have the appearance that the nails need to be cleaned, but a further look may indicate that it is not normal at all. This unusual streak will often develop under the thumb or the big toe. This symptom can occur to people of any race, but is more common in people of African descent.
Dark moles on the scalp are the signs that are most overlooked. Many people think that the hair protects the head, but the head is the most exposed part of the body to sunlight. This can damage and irritate, forming bumps and moles on the scalp and around the forehead. These may be benign, but should still be tested to make sure.
Changes in vision or dark spots on the iris can be a symptom of melanoma and should not be ignored. Ocular melanoma is rare and develops in melanocyte cells. The eyes are at risk of this disease because they contain and produce melanin. This type of melanoma can cause nerve system damage and permanent blindness.
Sores that are recurring inside the mouth or on the nose could be a sign of mucosal melanoma. This type occurs in areas that produce and contain mucus. This could also include the vaginal area, anus, oral cavity, and the lining of the sinuses.
A fresh scars that can not be explained and randomly pops up on the skin is a sign that melanoma may be present. The scars may be the most aggressive of all the signs of the disease and could range from a mild scar to an extreme scar. Some may not be very visible, but they can be very irritating and some can even be prone to infections.
Odd colored blotches on the skin are not common. If there are yellow or pinkish discolorations on the skin, they should be checked out by a doctor. Melanoma manifests in the skin with colored appearances or a pink hue. Anything that is uncommon to regular skin color should not be ignored.
The ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun are the most identifiable cause of melanoma, but it is not the only cause. When outside, everyone should wear sunscreen, and be more conscious of using this and other UV protection. Being aware of the seriousness of any form of skin cancer is the first step in preventing it.