melanoma skin cancer

What Is Melanoma Skin Cancer?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is considered to be one of the most harmful types of skin cancer. It is created from melanocytes, the cells that provide your skin with color using melanin. Melanoma is more dangerous because it spreads more easily than other types of skin cancer. 

Melanomas often can be recognized as dark mole-like spots on the skin that have irregular margins. They are usually dark brown or black, but they sometimes look pink or tan. They can appear anywhere on the body, though there are a few areas that can be especially prone to melanomas. These areas include the face, chest, back, hands, feet, and legs.

How Is Melanoma Diagnosed?

Early diagnosis is very important when it comes to melanoma. A biopsy is necessary to fully diagnose this type of cancer. 

A biopsy may be performed in a few different ways. The whole area may be removed, the top few layers may be shaved off, or a punch biopsy may be performed. The material taken in the biopsy will then be tested to determine whether the cells are cancerous. 

If they are found to be malignant, further tests will determine what kind of cancer it is and the severity of cancer. Your specialist will also try to determine whether cancer has metastasized in any other parts of the body. 

How Is Melanoma Treated?

The type of treatment you receive for melanoma depends on factors like your age, the severity of your cancer, and potential treatment side effects. Melanoma treatments may include immunotherapy, surgery such as Mohs, chemotherapy, and/or superficial radiation therapy.

Where Can I Get Treatment for Melanoma in Southern Maryland?

You can get great treatment for your skin cancer including melanoma at Mid-Atlantic Skin Surgery Institute. Our skincare experts are very experienced when it comes to the diagnosis and treatments of all types of skin cancer. Please call us at 301-396-3401 to make your appointment as soon as possible for a thorough physical exam of your skin to maintain optimal health!