Symptoms and Diagnosis
Melanoma occurs when cells develop abnormally on the skin and produce abnormal moles. Some of the symptoms of melanoma include these moles getting bigger, changing shape, particularly getting an irregular edge, changing colour – getting darker, becoming patchy or multi shaded, Itching or causing pain, bleeding or becoming crusty and looking inflamed. Research suggests that moles with 3 or more different shades of brown or black are particularly likely to be melanoma.
The initial diagnosis of melanoma is usually through a test called dermatoscopy. It is a painless procedure where the doctor uses an instrument called a dermatoscope to closely examine the suspicious area on the skin.
A vast array of factors increase the risk of melanoma occurring. Ultraviolet light increases the risk of developing melanoma and this comes from the sun or sunbeds. The number of people with melanoma has shot up in the UK since tans and going abroad for holidays became more popular. Research shows that the type of ultraviolet light used in sunbeds can cause several types of skin cancer. In 2007, an analysis of 23 studies reported that people have an increased risk if they use sunbeds.
Some people are more at risk from melanoma than others: the more moles on the body, the higher the risk o...
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...nted. In addition, if possible, tanning salons should have warning signs on display similar to the warning signs on cigarette packets.
Cancer Research UK. ‘BeSunSmart’. [online] Available at: http://publications.cancerresearchuk.org/downloads/product/MALESUNBEDLEAFLET_SS005.pdf [accessed 19th December 2013]
Cancer Research UK. ‘BeSunSmart, cut your cancer risk’. [online] Available at: http://publications.cancerresearchuk.org/downloads/product/SunSmart_ED089C.pdf [accessed 19th (UK, 2013)
Cancer Research UK, 2013. ‘CancerStats Key Facts’. [online] Available at: http://publications.cancerresearchuk.org/downloads/Product/CS_KF_SKIN.pdf [accessed 19th December 2013]
Cancer Research UK, 2013. ‘Detecting Skin Cancer’. [online] Available at:
http://publications.cancerresearchuk.org/downloads/product/SKIN_ED003B.pdf [accessed 19th December 2013]
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