|Is Melanoma Fatal ?
Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Melanoma occurs due to uncontrolled growth of pigment producing cells, called melanocytes that are present in all types of moles.
Though it is one of the most uncommon type of skin cancer but causes majority of skin cancer related deaths.
Melanoma like other types of cancer if detected and treated early is rarely fatal. Melanoma is almost curable in its early stages; but if left untreated, melanoma cells can grow and spread to other parts of body including lymph glands, respiratory organs, and brain or occasionally bones and that may be fatal. Melanoma cells that spread in this manner are known as metastases and are very difficult to treat. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is over 95 percent and if it is detected at more advanced stage, survival rate drops below 65 percent.
Melanoma affects people of all age groups. Though the exact cause of melanoma remains unknown but the factors that increase the risk of melanoma are fair complexion, family history of melanoma, ultraviolet radiation from sun, and numerous or unusual moles on the body. Hence, it is important to regularly inspect the potential moles on your body. If you find any suspicious moles, get it removed early.
In men, melanoma is most often seen on their upper back or the head and neck. In women, melanoma is mostly located on their lower legs. Melanoma that has not spread to other parts of the body is usually treated with surgery. However, if melanoma has spread to different organs of the body, then other treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy and adjuvant therapy are used to kill melanoma cells.
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