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Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes. Melanocytes are the skin cells that produce pigment. Melanoma starts as a mole on the skin and can spread to other parts of the body. If found early, many cases of melanoma are curable.
The cause is too much ultraviolet radiation from the sun, which hurts the skin. Higher risk is related to severe sunburns, light-coloured skin, blue eyes, blond hair, getting freckles, using tanning salons, and having many abnormal moles or family members with melanoma. People with dark skin can also get melanoma.
Your health care provider will take a tissue sample from the mole to examine under a microscope (biopsy). The biopsy will reveal whether melanoma has spread to deeper layers of the skin. Your health care provider will also order tests, including:
You will have surgery to remove the cancer. Your lymph nodes may also be removed during the surgery. If melanoma has spread to other organs, such as the liver, lungs, bone, or brain, you will need additional treatment.
Melanoma may come back (recur) after it has been treated. Your risk of recurrence is higher if you had thick or ulcerated tumours or patches of tumours. Generally, the more advanced your melanoma, the more likely it will recur. You can help prevent melanoma from recurring by staying out of the sun, especially during peak midafternoon hours. When you are outdoors or in the sun:
Take these precautions on cloudy days and in the winter, even if you will be outdoors for only a short period of time.
Contact a health care provider regarding melanoma if:
DOs and DON’Ts in Managing Melanoma:
A personalised cancer screening consultation is a meeting with a qualified consultant medical doctor to explain to you what does cancer screening mean and facilitate your understanding for the genomic and diagnostic tests that are that can help you to achieve your cancer screening and prevention objectives.
Your consultant doctor will aim to answer all your questions regarding the cancer screening programmes and tests that could be beneficial for your overall health and wellbeing.
It is recommended that you book a personalised cancer screening consultation with one of our recognised consultant medical doctors if you have a strong family history of cancer or you have one or more risk factors that may increase your risk of developing a specific type of cancer.
If you are unable to attend to one of our outpatients’ clinics in London for your personalised cancer screening consultation, our consultant medical doctors can arrange to have your personalised cancer screening consultation by secure and encrypted voice conferencing or video conferencing, which can be done from the convenience of your home and using your smartphone.