Melanoma is a skin cancer derived from cells that produce the pigment of the skin (melanocytes). It may appear on the skin, mucous membranes, nervous system, the eye … in summary, in any area where there are melanocytes.
The causes of skin cancer are basically two: one is solar radiation and the other one is determined by a genetic factor.
Melanoma appears in most cases as a pre-pigmented lesion (nevus), congenital in some cases and acquired in others, and that at a particular moment of time it starts to grow uncontrollably. In many cases, there is a precedent of a significant prior sun exposure or nevus trauma.
There are several leading signs that can alert us about the possible malignant transformation of a nevus:
- Asymmetric shape
- Uneven edges
- Colour change in the inside
- Diameter greater than 6 mm.
- Actinic keratosis
- Basal cell carcinoma and squamous-cell carcinoma.
- Epidermoid carcinoma.
They can be treated differently depending on the individual situation of each patient. The main treatments are:
- Therapy – surgery
- Photodynamic therapy