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You are here: ORS Hospital > Skin lesions > Melanoma > Basic Information

Melanoma

Sinonimi: Maligni melanom, MM, Melanoma malignum, Malignant melanoma, Malignant melanocytic lesion

What is melanoma?

Melanoma is a kind of skin carcinoma that originates from melanocytic cells which also give our skin color.

Figure 1: Melanoma Clinical photo and digital dermoscopy

Figure 2: Melanoma Clinical photo and digital dermoscopy

Kako nastaje melanom?

Melanoma forms by damage to the melanocytic cells on their DNA level. We don’t yet understand to the fullest extent how this happens, but the closest explanation is that there is a combination of genetical factors on one and UV radiation on the other side. When a melanocytic cell gets damaged, it looses it’s ability to control it’s growth, and melanoma fomation begins. Melanoma can develop both on healthy skin and on an existing mole in this fashion. (Fig. 3 & 4).

Figure 3: Melanoma Development as a new skin lesion

Clinical photo

Digital dermoscopy - Melanoma

Figure 4: Melanoma Development on an existing mole

Clinical photo

Digital dermoscopy - Melanoma

Why is there so much talk about melanoma??

Melanoma is one of the most dangerous carcinomas of the human population! It’s danger is obvious in the fact that it has extraordinary large potential in giving metastases and the fact that it’s a carcinoma that has the largest increase in number of affected people over the last 50 years.

What are the first signs of developing melanoma?

A Change of size, color or shape of an existing mole is a first sign of something happening. However, You should always bear in mind that not all skin lesions are accesible by our eyes, so other signs such as: itching, tingling, pain, swelling, bleeding or any other sign of irregularity. Second important event is an occurence of a completely new skin lesion that at first appears as a mole, but changes in size, shape or color.

Is there some sex, age or body region related specificity?

Melanoma is a carcinoma that is equally frequent in both sexes. Number of young people suffering from melanoma is vastly increasing. In terms of incidence, it’s the second most frequent carcinoma in the 15 to 29 years of age period, and the most frequent in 25 to 29 years of age period. It should be specially accented that melanoma is the first or second most frequent carcinoma in the female reproductive period.Melanoma can develop on any region of the body, it’s more common on the legs in women, and more common on the back in men.

How dangerous is it?

Melanoma is one of the most dangerous carcinomas with great mortality in cases with late diagnosis..

Is it curable?

Melanoma is completely curable in case it is diagnosed and treated in time.

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