Melanoma

Melanoma

Melanoma services offered in Lansdale, PA

Nearly 100,000 Americans receive a melanoma diagnosis yearly. Because melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, it’s essential to diagnose and treat it early and that’s where the board-certified dermatologists at Allan Mineroff, MD, PC come in. Allan Mineroff, MD, Kristen Foering, MD, MTR, and Erin Santa, MD, FAAD, expertly perform skin cancer screening and surgery for melanoma and other skin cancers in the Lansdale, Pennsylvania office. Call the office or click on the online scheduler to make your appointment now.

Melanoma Q & A

What is melanoma?

Melanoma is a very damaging type of skin cancer. It occurs when the melanocytes the cells that make melanin for skin, eye, and hair color start growing abnormally fast. 

Although just 1% of skin cancers are melanoma, it causes most skin cancer-related deaths, so you must treat this cancer immediately upon diagnosis.

What does melanoma look like?

Melanoma often starts on the chest or back in men or the legs in women. The neck and face are also common places for melanoma to start. However, it can appear anywhere on the body, including the scalp, feet, genitals, and fingernails. 

Melanoma can vary by person, but some of the most common characteristics fall into the ABCDE rule. Some signs to watch out for are:

  • A for asymmetry: Uneven-looking lesion, like a mole where one half does not match the appearance of the other half.
  • B for border: Ragged, blurry, or otherwise strangely shaped lesion borders.
  • C for color: A shade that does not match your other moles, especially if it looks red, blue, white, or multicolored.
  • D for diameter: Bigger than a pencil eraser in width (about 6 mm).
  • E for evolving: a change in the size, shape, surface, or color, especially over a fairly short period.

You may also notice new issues like itchiness, slow healing, redness, bleeding, or skin scaling. 

Although not every melanoma fits into these categories, the ABCDE rule is a good one to follow as you examine your skin at home regularly. Because melanomas can occur in other ways, let the team at Allan Mineroff, MD, PC, know about any new or changing skin growths.

How is melanoma treated?

Melanoma is an aggressive cancer that can rapidly invade other parts of your body if untreated. So, the best treatment for melanoma is skin cancer surgery involving complete removal (excision) of the growth at the earliest stage possible.

There are several excision methods, but in most cases, it involves removing the entire melanoma along with some of the tissue surrounding it on all sides. 

Mohs surgery is an advanced type of surgery involving incremental removal of cancerous tissue until all tissue is cancer-free. It’s usually used for squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, which are far less aggressive cancers. But, Mohs may also be an option for melanoma in situ (melanoma confined to the top layer of your skin). 

The team uses the melanoma removal method that gives you the best chance of remaining cancer-free long term.

If you have a new or changing mole, or another skin lesion, don’t wait to see an expert. Call Allan Mineroff, MD, PC, or click on the booking tool for help now.

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