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Can Melanoma Make You Tired

Why You’re So Tired After Radiation Therapy

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When you are prescribed radiation therapy to treat cancer, your healthcare provider will provide you with a list of possible side effects of treatment. Things like nausea, diarrhea, and hair loss usually catch a person’s attention first because they seem to be the worst. While these are side effects that can be difficult to tolerate, it is actually fatigue that affects people the most. Lack of energy and excessive tiredness seem to plague all cancer patients, but those going through radiation therapy do experience it more frequently and often chronically. Learning how to manage and cope with fatigue is essential for your quality of life during radiation therapy treatment.

How Does The Doctor Know I Have Skin Cancer

Basal and squamous skin cancer may look like:

  • Flat, firm, pale or yellow areas that look a lot like a scar
  • Raised reddish patches that might itch
  • Rough or scaly red patches, which might crust or bleed
  • Small, pink or red, shiny, pearly bumps, which might have blue, brown, or black areas
  • Pink growths or lumps with raised edges and a lower center
  • Open sores that dont heal, or that heal and then come back
  • Wart-like growths

What Is Brain Metastases

Brain metastases, a specific form of Stage IV melanoma, are one of the most common and difficult-to-treat complications of melanoma. Brain metastases differ from all other metastases in terms of risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment.

Until recently, melanoma brain metastases carried a poor prognosis, with a median overall survival of about four to five months, but improvements in radiation and systemic therapies are offering promise for this challenging complication, and some patients are curable. Historically, people with a single brain metastasis who undergo effective treatment have a better chance for long-term survival than do people with multiple metastatic tumors.

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Are There Different Kinds Of Skin Cancer

There are many types of skin cancer. Your doctor can tell you more about the type of skin cancer you have.

Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers are much more common than melanoma and dont often spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma is more deadly because it is more likely to spread to other parts of the body.

What Do Stage 4 Tumors Look Like

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A change to an existing mole or normal skin can be the first sign that the cancer has spread. But the physical symptoms of stage 4 melanoma arent the same for everyone. A doctor will diagnose stage 4 melanoma by looking at the primary tumor, the spread to nearby lymph nodes, and whether the tumor has spread to different organs. While your doctor wont base their diagnosis only on what your tumor looks like, part of their diagnosis involves looking at the primary tumor.

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Red Flag #: Chest Pain And Trouble Breathing

Melanoma is also known to spread to the lungs, though Dr. Zaba notes that most people dont experience noticeable symptoms in the lungs until a tumor has gotten pretty large. A cough that just wont quit or recurring chest infections can signal that the cancer has traveled to the lungs, Dr. Polsky says. Shortness of breath or trouble breathing can also be a red flag.

How Long Does It Take For Melanoma To Spread To Organs

Melanoma can grow very quickly. It can become life-threatening in as little as six weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun. Nodular melanoma is a highly dangerous form of melanoma that looks different from common melanomas.

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What Does Nodular Melanoma Look Like

Nodular melanoma is a deadly type of skin cancer that typically appears on the areas of skin most exposed to the sun such as the legs, chest, back, arms and head. This type of melanoma usually appears as a round, black bump, but it can also look like a mole or even a pimple with no pus inside.

Nodular melanoma can affect anyone, at any age, but it is most typically found in men over the age of 50 who have a family history of skin cancer, pale skin or numerous moles. Unlike other skin cancers that can usually be detected by asymmetry, uneven borders, and unusual coloring, nodular melanoma is often a round, black bump. In rare cases, nodular melanoma can even be flesh-toned or pin, but it is almost always a solid color with even borders.

Similar to other types of skin cancer, the main cause of nodular melanoma is UV exposure, though it can also develop on parts of the body that dont receive a lot of sun exposure.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Though it only accounts for 4% of all skin cancer cases, melanoma causes about 79% of skin cancer deaths. It begins in the melanocytes, the cells that produce the pigment melanin.

What makes nodular melanoma so dangerous is that it grows quickly, affecting the surrounding tissue, bones and even lymph nodes in a matter of weeks or months.

Causes And Risk Factors

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Melanoma happens when the DNA in your skin cells becomes damaged. When skin DNA is damaged, skin cells can grow out of control and become cancerous. Doctors arent certain how damaged skin cell DNA turns into melanoma. A combination of factors inside and outside of your body is likely.

Exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun for long periods of time can damage your skin cells. This damage increases your risk of developing all types of melanoma. Sun exposure can be especially risky if youre sensitive or allergic to sunlight and get freckles or sunburn easily.

Regularly tanning in tanning salons, beds, or baths while youre younger than 30 years also increases your risk of melanoma. Your risk increases if you lie in a tanning bed for 30 minutes or more at a time.

Having a low amount of melanin in your skin can increase your risk, too. Being of European descent or having albinism are two major risk factors for melanoma. Having a family history of melanoma can also increase your risk.

Other common risk factors include:

  • having a lot of moles on your body, especially 50 or more
  • having a weak immune system from an existing condition or recent operation

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What Are Normal Efudex Side Effects

Of all the conundrums youve experienced on lifes journey, medications and prescribed treatments from your doctor or nurse practitioner can be the most bewildering. Efudex, a topical chemotherapy designated as a treatment for precancerous lesions, is particularly perplexing. If you are one of the many users of Efudex, also known as fluorouracil, you have likely found yourself asking your doctor or a fellow user one of the many questions swirling around your brain, all of which contain some variation of the word normal.

As a regular user of Efudex, let me ease your fears just a bit. There is no normal when it comes to Efudex cream. Not what you wanted to hear, I know. For that, I am truly sorry. When it comes to Efudex, anything goes. Amazingly, this is true not only from one user to the next but also from one persons first use to his or her next treatment. This makes Efudex somewhat of an enigma to both users and the members of their support systems.

What Other Factors Contribute To Fatigue

Tumor cells compete for nutrients, often at the expense of the normal cells’ growth. In addition to fatigue, weight loss and are common.

Decreased nutrition from the side effects of treatments can cause fatigue.

Cancer treatments, specifically chemotherapy, can cause reduced blood counts, which may lead to anemia, a blood disorder that occurs when the blood cannot adequately transport oxygen through the body. When tissues don’t get enough oxygen, fatigue can result.

Medicines used to treat side effects such as nausea, pain, depression, anxiety, and seizures can cause fatigue.

Research shows that chronic, severe pain increases fatigue.

Stress can worsen feelings of fatigue. Stress can result from dealing with the disease and the “unknowns,” as well as from worrying about daily accomplishments or trying to meet the expectations of others.

Fatigue may occur when you try to maintain your normal daily routine and activities during treatments. Modifying your schedule and activities can help conserve energy.

Depression and fatigue often go hand-in-hand. It may not be clear which started first. One way to sort this out is to try to understand your depressed feelings and how they affect your life. If you are depressed all the time, were depressed before your cancer diagnosis, are preoccupied with feeling worthless and useless, you may need treatment for depression.

There are several ways to conserve your energy. Here are some suggestions:

Plan ahead and organize your work

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Is Your Fatigue A Symptom Of Cancer

Doru Paul, MD, is triple board-certified in medical oncology, hematology, and internal medicine. He is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and attending physician in the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Could your fatigue be the first symptom of cancer? At one point or another, we have all experienced fatigue. For most of us, it is temporary, usually caused by stress or being overworked.

For some people, however, fatigue can become persistent, occurring daily. When fatigue becomes frequent, it is natural to be concerned about what may be causing it.

One of the first things many people think maybe the culprit for their fatigue is cancer. When might feeling tired be a sign of cancer and how often is it?

We often hear about cancer patients who are extremely fatigued, but a lot of cancer-related fatigue is caused by the side effects of cancer treatment, not always cancer itself. In other words, for people with many cancers, the fatigue begins after diagnosis.

While fatigue alone without other symptoms is uncommon in many cancers, for people with leukemias and lymphomas fatigue may well be the first symptom.

Common Places For Melanoma To Spread

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Melanoma can spread from the original site on your skin and form a tumor in any organ or body tissue, but its most likely to metastasize to the lymph nodes, liver, brain, lungs, and less commonly, the bones. Melanoma really likes the brain and the liver, says Lisa Zaba, M.D., dermatologic oncologist at Stanford Medical Center in San Jose, CA. If you notice any of the following red flags, it might mean your melanoma has spread and warrants a call to your doctor right away.

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How To Spot Potential Melanoma

If there is a silver lining about melanoma, unlike cancers you can’t see, a lot of times you can watch for things on your skin and come in and get a mole checked out and catch it early, Dr. George says.

The Skin Care Foundation recommends doing a self-examination once a month. Take the time to look at your skin from head to toe, using mirrors as necessary to check your back and other hard-to-see places.

Dr. George suggests getting any mole thats greater than 6 millimeters in diameter looked at by a dermatologist.

To check for melanoma symptoms, look at your moles using the ABCDE method:

Asymmetry: Do both halves of the lesion look the same? Melanoma lesions can appear asymmetric, whereas healthy moles are typically symmetrical.

Border: Irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined edges may be melanoma. Normal moles have nice, sharp, regular borders.

Color: Melanomas tend to be multi-coloredblack, brown, red, and/or blue. Healthy moles are typically one color or maybe two, but that color is evenly distributed. This isnt so for a potentially dangerous mole.

Diameter: If a mole is greater than 6 millimeters in diameter , get it checked out. Nowadays we do see melanomas that are really small and regular moles that are large, Dr. George says, but typically melanomas are larger.

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What Type Of Cancer Causes Fatigue

A cancer that affects your hormone levels could cause fatigue. Certain cancers such as breast and prostate cancer can change the levels of hormones in your body. This can cause a number of side effects including fatigue. People with advanced cancer are more likely to have fatigue than those with earlier staged cancer.

How Serious Is My Cancer

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If you have melanoma, the doctor will want to find out how far it has spread. This is called staging. Your doctor will want to find out the stage of your cancer to help decide what type of treatment is best for you.

The stage describes the growth or spread of the melanoma through the skin. It also tells if it has spread to other parts of your body.

Your cancer can be stage 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4. The lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, like stage 4, means a more serious cancer that has spread beyond the skin. Be sure to ask the doctor about the cancer stage and what it means for you.

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Skin Exam And Physical

If youve been diagnosed with melanoma, youve already had a skin biopsy. This biopsy was taken when you had part of the suspicious spot removed. After it was removed, a doctor looked at the spot under a microscope to find out if it contained cancer cells. This is currently the only way to tell if someone has skin cancer.

After getting the diagnosis, the next step is to get a complete skin exam and physical.

During the physical, your dermatologist will feel your lymph nodes. This is where melanoma usually goes when it begins to spread. It usually travels to the lymph nodes closest to the melanoma.

If there is a risk the cancer could have spread, your dermatologist may recommend that you have a lymph node biopsy. If a sentinel lymph node biopsy is recommended, it can be performed at the time of your surgery for melanoma.

After the skin exam and physical, your dermatologist may recommend testing, such as a CAT scan, MRI, or a blood test. These can also help detect spread.

Biological Therapies And Melanoma

Biological therapies are treatments using substances made naturally by the body. Some of these treatments are called immunotherapy because they help the immune system fight the cancer, or they occur naturally as part of the immune system. There are many biological therapies being researched and trialled, which in the future may help treat people with melanoma. They include monoclonal antibodies and vaccine therapy.

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Causes Of Cancer Fatigue

Someone with cancer may experience fatigue for several reasons.

With leukemia and lymphoma, cancer cells in the bone marrow can interfere with the normal production of blood cells. This can lead to anemia, and anemia can then lead to fatigue.

Colon cancer and stomach cancer can cause anemia through blood loss in the bowels, likewise leading to fatigue.

The metabolic processes of tumors can also contribute to fatigue. Cancer cells aggressively compete for nourishment with normal cells.

Some cancers lead to fatigue by disrupting normal hormone functioning. Others secrete substances known as cytokines, which in turn can cause fatigue.

Fatigue has many causes besides cancer, though. In that respect, fatigue accompanied by unintentional weight loss is more concerning than fatigue alone.

What Type Of Cancer Makes You Very Tired

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  • What Type of Cancer Makes You Very Tired? Center
  • Extreme and recurrent tiredness is one of the common symptoms of most types of cancers. Tiredness is usually considered a warning sign of cancer progressing. Tiredness related to cancers usually does not get better with adequate rest or sleep. Patients may appear exhausted with very minimal activity.

    • A cancer cell usually steals calories and robs normal cells of vital nutrients that by itself may lead to tiredness. Patients might not be eating as well as they normally would, depriving cells of vital nutrients that the body needs to function normally.
    • In bone marrow cancer, cancer cells may interfere with the normal production of blood cells leading to anemia and tiredness.
    • Likewise in cancers related to the stomach, intestine cancers usually cause tiredness because of blood loss.
    • Cancers of the prostate and breast interfere with metabolic and hormonal processes causing extreme tiredness in the patient.
    • All cancers produce a high amount of cytokines that are natural cell proteins that are normally released by the white blood cells in response to infection. High amounts of these cytokines can be toxic and lead to persistent tiredness.
    • Some aggressive cancers may cause swelling in certain parts of the body, making limbs heavier and harder to move contributing to tiredness overall.
    • Cancer of the lung may also cause tiredness and breathlessness.

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