Presentation on theme: "Casey Bower. What is Melanoma? Melanoma is the most common cancer in the United States and the most dangerous form of skin cancer, melanoma begins in."— Presentation transcript:
What is Melanoma? Melanoma is the most common cancer in the United States and the most dangerous form of skin cancer, melanoma begins in a type of skin cell called a melanocyte. Melanocytes produce the skin pigment known as melanin, which is responsible for our natural skin color. When exposed to sunlight, these skin cells produce large amounts of melanin as part of the "tanning process," that helps protect the skin from burning. Pigmented markings of the skin are known as moles, which are groups of melanocytes in the skin. While moles are generally harmless, they can become cancerous.
What causes Melanoma? The greatest contributor (approximately 65 percent) to melanoma is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from natural or artificial sources, such as sunlight and indoor tanning beds. It is likely that a combination of family history, genetics and environmental factors are to blame. However, since melanoma can occur in all melanocytes throughout the body, even those that are never exposed to the sun, UV light cannot be solely responsible for a diagnosis.
What are the symptoms of Melanoma Melanoma can appear suddenly as a new mole, or it can develop slowly in or near an existing mole. In men, melanomas are often found on the torso, or the head and neck area. In women, melanoma often develops on the lower legs as well as on the torso.
The ABCDs of Melanoma This simple ABCD approach is a useful guide to help you identify moles you should show your doctor. A = Asymmetry: melanoma lesions are typically irregular in shape (asymmetrical); benign--noncancerous--moles are typically round (symmetrical). B = Border: melanoma lesions often have uneven or irregular borders (i.e., ragged or notched edges); benign moles have smooth, even borders. C = Color: melanoma lesions often contain many shades of brown or black; benign moles are usually a single shade of brown. D = Diameter: melanoma lesions are often more than 1/4 inch or 6 millimeters in diameter (about the size of a pencil eraser); benign moles are usually less than 1/4 inch or 6 millimeters in diameter.
Who is at risk? People who spend time in the sun, or use sun lamps or tanning booths People who smoke People who have blond, red or light brown hair, and blue, gray or green eyes People with fair skin or freckles, or skin that burns easily People with personal or family histories
How often does Melanoma occur Melanoma is the most common cancer in The United States In 2009 nearly 63,000 were diagnosed with melanoma in the United States, resulting in approximately 8,650 deaths One-in-50 Americans has a lifetime risk of developing melanoma. The projected numbers (according to the National Cancer Institute) for 2012 are even higher with 76,250 diagnosis and 9,180 deaths. every eight minutes, someone in the United States will be given a melanoma diagnosis and that every hour someone will die from the disease. The American Cancer Society estimates that the risk of developing invasive melanoma in the United States is 1 in 41 and 1 in 61 for men and women, respectfully. This averages out to approximately a 1 in 50 chance of developing melanoma throughout your lifetime. Melanoma primarily affects individuals in the prime years of life, is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.
How is Melanoma detected? In its early stages, melanoma can be successfully removed and monitored by regular skin screenings. In fact, survival rates can exceed 90 percent to 95 percent in early stage melanoma. However, in its most advanced stages, melanoma can be deadly as few treatment options exist. Survival rates drop to less than 20 percent when melanoma has spread to other organs. There are several steps you can take in order to help increase your chances of detecting a melanoma early. Carefully examine your skin once a month. If you notice any changes, consult a dermatologist right away. If melanoma runs in your family, make sure all of your family members are checked regularly by a dermatologist once or twice a year. Protect yourself from UV radiation by practicing safe sun habits.
Melanoma Treatment Clinical trials are research studies to test promising new or experimental cancer treatments; new ways to detect melanoma; or new ways to monitor melanoma. Targeted therapy is a type of therapy in which drugs (or other substances) specifically “target” the abnormal aspects of tumor cells without harming normal cells. Several targeted therapies have been approved for use in treating various cancers. This approach is currently being evaluated in melanoma. Surgery is the mainstay of therapy for early stage melanoma and for resection of an isolated metastatic melanoma site. Immunotherapy is a type of systemic therapy useful in the treatment of melanoma at high risk for recurrence and for metastatic disease. Chemotherapy is a type of therapy in which a medication is given to treat melanoma. The goal of chemotherapy is to destroy melanoma cells throughout the body. Radiation Therapy is used to prevent a local recurrence of the melanoma. Regional perfusion is a procedure used to treat one limb of the body that has multiple areas of metastasis from melanoma that cannot be removed by surgery alone.