Melanoma Awareness, Preventative Tips

3 Myths About Melanoma Debunked

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Team MoleMap Creator
Posted 03/10/13

Regrettably, there are many people who ignore the warnings about melanoma and strongly believe that they cannot possibly develop this condition. One of the reasons for this is the presence of many myths about this treatable, but potentially deadly form of skin cancer. Learn the truth behind the myths and adopt more and more effective measures for prevention.

DARK COMPLEXIONS AND MELANOMA

Statistical data and clinical trials prove this assumption wrong. It has been discovered that individuals with darker complexion are at increased risk of developing a particular type of melanoma called acral lentiginous melanoma. It usually appears on the palms of the hands, on the soles of the feet and under the nails. It is more dangerous than some of the other main types of melanoma as it spreads more quickly. Besides, it is sometimes quicker to invade the deeper layers of the skin and spread to other organs. People with dark complexion should take all preventive measures just like those with fair skin.

The risk of this type of skin cancer in teens and individuals under the age of 40 is times greater now than it was in the 1980’s. In some countries, the number of young patients diagnosed with this condition now is over 50 per cent greater than just 30 years ago. Most researchers and doctors explain this frightening statistical data with the fact that tanning and indoor tanning, in particular, are much more common now than in the past.

It is best to avoid sun baths and tanning beds and to protect your skin when you go under the sun irrespective of your age. The sooner you do these things the better.

MELANOMAS MEET THE ABCD CRITERIA

Typically, a melanoma is asymmetrical. It has irregular borders and uneven colour. Its diameter is at least 6 mm. However, this is not always the case. There are some tumours that do not contain black and brown colours, but other ones such as red, pink, white and blue. The most dangerous nodule tumours, which are invasive, often appear quite symmetrical and have regular borders and only a few colours.

These examples clearly show that not all melanomas match the common symptoms chart. That is why it is best to have regular screenings carried out by a qualified and experienced dermatologist. This is the most effective method for early detection of the condition. When this type of skin cancer is diagnosed early on, the chances of successful treatment are 98 percent.