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At Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, our specialists are well trained in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of skin conditions, including melanoma. We use the most innovative techniques to analyze each patient's condition and provide treatment that aims for full recovery in the shortest amount of time possible.
Melanoma is one of the most severe types of skin cancer. It generally occurs when the cells that are responsible for the production of melanin, also known as melanocytes, start to function abnormally. However, the reason behind the abnormal reproduction of cells is unclear. Specialists believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors and the exposure to ultraviolet radiation are the main factors that lead to the development of melanoma. Although this condition generally occurs in the upper layers of the skin, in rare cases it can also affect the eyes or the internal organs. The most common spots where people develop melanoma are the legs for women and the back for men. They usually consist of moles or growths that change size and color, have irregular shapes and edges, or present itchiness or soreness. The best ways to protect your skin from melanoma are to use sunscreen and avoid UV radiation. Melanoma is thought to be more common in men than women, and to affect more people in Northern Europe and North America than in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
Melanoma can be surgically removed if diagnosed in the early stages of the condition. Melanoma surgery consists of removing the melanoma during an excisional biopsy in the case of small melanomas. For larger melanomas affecting surrounding tissues more extensive surgery may be required. For patients who suffer from these less severe cases of melanoma, these surgeries can be the only treatment needed. However, in more serious cases, where the melanoma has spread to the adjacent lymph nodes, additional treatment may be required.
A specialist may recommend one of the following treatments for serious cases when the melanoma has spread:
There are five types of cutaneous melanoma, and although some types are more severe than others they are generally treated the same way.
While melanoma can occur almost anywhere on the body, these growths are more commonly found in areas that are more exposed to UV radiations, such as on the face, on the back, arms, or legs. Certain types of melanoma can also occur in less exposed areas, like the soles of the feet, the palms of the hands, or even under the fingernails. Some of the most common symptoms associated with melanoma are:
The easiest way to remember the most common characteristics of melanoma is the “ABCDE” technique, which stands for:
The most frequently used diagnosis techniques for melanoma are:
Some of the most important risk factors associated with the development of melanoma are:
It is important to mention that melanoma is a serious condition that requires medical attention. However, there are certain alternative treatments that can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with this condition. Although some patients might think that they can treat or cure their melanoma by using alternative therapies, it is a known fact that most of these therapies have not been scientifically verified. Consequently, it is strongly recommended that you discuss with your doctor before trying any alternative treatments.
Although this condition cannot always be prevented, there are certain things that people can do in order to avoid developing melanoma, such as:
Are you suffering from melanoma? You can always learn more about skin cancer and how to treat and cure it by getting in touch with our specialists at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.
Daniel Marcus, M.D.See Profile »
Richard Boudreau, D.D.S., Ph.D.See Profile »
Ronald Hurst, M.D.See Profile »
Craig Smith, M.D.See Profile »
Michael Buch, M.D.See Profile »
Scott Cunneen, M.D.See Profile »
Alexander Marmureanu, M.D.See Profile »
Tracey Childs, M.D.See Profile »
Robert Shorr, M.D.See Profile »
Michael Feiz, M.D., F.AC.S.See Profile »
Elizabeth A. Arena, M.D.See Profile »
Pejman Samouha, M.D.See Profile »
Jason Cohen, M.D.See Profile »
Yosef Nasseri, M.D.See Profile »
Daniel Shouhed, M.D.See Profile »
Ali Azizzadeh, M.D., FACSSee Profile »
Moshe Barnajian, M.D.See Profile »
Joshua D.I. Ellenhorn, M.D., FACSSee Profile »
William B. Hutchinson, M.D.See Profile »
Yufei Chen, M.D.See Profile »
James Y. Liu, M.D.See Profile »
Rajeev Rao, M.D.See Profile »