Melanoma is the most serious form of cancer of the skin. It has become more common in western countries. This is turning out to be a common cancer in adults in their 20s and 30s and it is second only to breast cancer in young women.
This is serious because it can spread to lymph nodes and internal organs too. If the condition is diagnosed early and treated, the cure rate is about 95 percent.
It usually begins as a dark brown or black patch with irregular borders. It may appear anywhere in the body or it may start near an existing mole. It slowly spreads. Some of the major symptoms are as follows.
- Change in size -- It may spread outward or it may become lumpy.
- Change in shape -- Normal mole is smooth with a regular outline. While melanoma is likely to be irregular with ragged edge
- Change in color -- It may develop a reddish edge. It may have a different shade of color, a mixture of brown and black
- Diameter -- Normal moles are very small
- Inflammation -- Melanoma gets inflamed and has a reddish edge
- Crusting or bleeding -- Slight oozing is common
- Itch -- This is quite common. Normal moles are also known to itch
- Satellite lesions -- Small brown changes around the edge of the mole is observed
All melanomas do not develop from an existing mole. It can appear where there is no previous injury and it can appear as a non pigmented scar or cyst. It can also develop as a nail streak or a non healing bruise. There are mainly four types of melanomas as given below.
- Superficial spreading melanoma -- This is the major type of melanoma and nearly 70 percent of all melanomas fall under this category.
- Nodular melanoma –--This accounts for 15 percent of the cases
- Lentigo maligna melanoma -- This covers 10 percent of the case
- Acral lentiginous melanoma -- This covers 5 percent of the cases
So, if you want to know whether melanoma itches, the answer is yes. It does itch.
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