Skin cancer is, by far, the most common type of cancer. These cancers are seen in areas exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, and arms, but keep in mind, it can occur anywhere in the skin. There are different types of skin cancers among which, melanoma is an increasingly important public health problem. People diagnosed with melanoma in its earliest phase have almost 100% survival rate. While on the other hand, melanoma can be fatal if not detected and treated early. Hence early diagnosis is critical to saving lives.
Recognising the warning signs of melanoma and performing regular self-examinations of your skin can help find melanoma early. You should also get professional skin cancer screening exams once a year. But doctors in Bowral medical centre may recommend more frequent medical tests based on your risk factors and medical history.
Diagnosis of Melanoma:
Physical exam: Your doctor will ask a few questions about your personal health history, family history, and examine your skin for signs that may be a sign of melanoma. If he finds an abnormal lesion, he would recommend a biopsy to determine whether it is melanoma.
The type of biopsy procedure recommended depends on where the possible tumour is located. Most often, doctors suggest removing the growth completely by a technique called punch biopsy. There’s one more technique, called the excisional biopsy, where the doctor uses a special tool to take out the entire mole along with a small margin of healthy tissue around it.
The treatment for your melanoma depends on the size of the lesion, stage of cancer, and overall health.
Treating small Melanomas:
Treatment for melanoma at its early-stage generally includes surgery to remove the lesion completely. If the melanoma is thin, it may be removed completely during the biopsy and need no further treatment. If not, Bowral doctors will recommend removing the cancer cells as well as a border of healthy skin and a layer of tissue beneath the skin. For patients with early-stage melanomas, this might be the only treatment required.
Treating Melanoma that has spread deep:
For malignant melanoma that has already spread past the surface, treatment options may include:
- Surgery to remove affected lymph nodes
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
Tips for preventing Skin Cancer:
UV radiation from the sun is dangerous. It causes sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer. It’s well known that prevention is better than cure. So here are a few tips for preventing skin cancer.
- Avoid sun exposure for a long time.
- Don’t get sunburned.
- If you have to step out in the hot sun, cover yourself with clothing, and use UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Examine your skin from head to toe every month.
- See a doctor at least once a year for a professional skin care Bowral.
The author is a doctor in Bowral medical centre. With a team of doctors who have extensive medical experience and the passion for providing patients with the best possible care, he offers a wide range of quality health care services. Visit http://wsgp.com.au/ for details.
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