26 May Melanoma: Have you already checked your skin?
Earlier this week, on Monday 23rd of May, the World Melanoma Day was celebrated in order to recall a disease to be absolutely taken into account as far as it affects any kind of people and whose cases are rising and rising every year.
However, although this kind of skin cancer is the most frequent one, fortunately it does not represent over that the 0.1% of death cases caused by cancer. Melanoma usually appears in people having pale skin and which have been exposed to the sun at length. These tumors are treated with local methods (cryosurgery, radiotherapy, simple excision) with high chances of cure in most of the cases.
In any case, tracking periodically your skin moles is absolutely essential to control the eventual appearance of this kind of cancer. With this regard, MedicalDays’ partner Clínica Dr. Guillén – with more than 100 years of experience- provides you the most avant-garde techniques of control, diagnosis and cure of this disease, among many other Dermatology Treatments.
What is melanoma skin cancer?
Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can then spread to other areas of the body. Melanoma is a cancer that usually starts in a certain type of skin cell:
Having darkly pigmented skin lowers your risk of melanoma at these more common sites, but anyone can get melanoma on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and under the nails. Melanomas in these areas make up a much larger portion of melanomas in black people than in whites.
1. Sun exposition: Is the main risk factor to develop melanoma as far as ultraviolet radiation damages the genes of the skin cells. Some medicines such as antibiotic, hormones or antidepressants make the skin more vulnerable to the sun.
2. Age. Even provided that every time melanoma is diagnosed to younger people, the highest incidence is detected on people between 30 and 60 year old.
3. Sex. In the USA men have a higher rate of melanoma than women but in Europe is just the contrary. Men commonly suffer melanoma on the trunk or, at old age, on the head or neck; women on the legs.
4. Number of skin moles. The existence of 50 or more skin moles increases 3 times the risk of suffering melanoma in a common person. If there are more than 100 skin moles, the risk is increased in 7 times.
5. Family history. Around 10% of people suffering melanoma have had familiars which were diagnosed with this disease. Nowadays two genes related to melanoma have been identified: CDKN2A (chromosome 9) and CDK4 (chromosome) 14. Alteration in gen CDK4 appears in 20% of the people suffering melanoma.
- Avoid sun exposition during 12 pm to 4 pm.
- The use of umbrellas, huts, socks and other clothes of dark colors.
- The use of sun protection with UVA ray filter adequate for the type of skin and the location.
- Use of sunglasses absorbing 100% of the UVA ray.
- Avoid artificial means of tanning, especially before the age of 30.
- Self-review of the skin moles to detect any changes in the existing ones or the appearance of new ones. Every part of the body shall be analyzed, including the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, scalp, ears and the region under the nails.