This is the most dangerous of all skin cancers as it may spread to other parts of the body eg liver, spleen, lymph nodes. Melanomas may develop from existing moles. To learn what type of changes to look for in an existing mole, click here. If a melanoma is detected early and removed, there is an excellent chance of survival.
What happens if a melanoma is suspected?
The suspected melanoma is removed (excised) with a 2mm margin and sent to the laboratory for confirmation of the diagnosis.
Further treatment depends on how deep the melanoma penetrates into the skin. This depth is measured by the laboratory and included in the laboratory report.
Once the depth is determined, a wider excision is usually performed. The width of the excision depends on the depth of penetration of the growth. Any further treatment also depends on this depth.
How to guard against melanoma
If you have many moles, get them mapped regularly.
Look at your moles at regular intervals and report any changes seen (Apply the ABCDE criteria)
Keep away from direct sunlight
Avoid the sun at midday hours (Remember: between 10 and 3 - under the tree)
Wear a broad spectrum (protective agains UVA and UVB) sunblock with a minimum SPF of 30.
Clothing is the best sunblock.
The best time to check you moles is TODAY!