The 5 Stages Of Nail Melanoma
Nail melanoma is a life-threatening skin cancer that grows to affect the nails, usually the big toe and thumb. This disease can prove to be very deadly, however treatments are readily available if diagnosed early.
This disease is often referred to as, Malignant Melanoma of Nail Unit or Nail Unit Melanoma.
- The pigment producing cells of the body, called Melanocytes, is where the Melanoma cancer develops. The Melanocytes are responsible for giving our skin its color.
- The development of Melanoma cancer, usually begins from a finger or toenail, however thats not always the case.
- It has the tendency to affect the areas around such as the sides of nail or the nail bed. In fact, it may also spread to other parts of the body, if not treated on time.
- The big toe or thumb is usually the first to get affected, however it may vary according to each case.
- The Nail Unit Melanoma is divided into 3 main types:
- Nail Melanoma is most common in light/fair skinned people as opposed to dark skinned people.
There are 5 stages of Nail Melanoma, stated as follows
Stage 1: aka Stage O Melanoma
This stage is also referred to as Melanoma in situ, meaning site of origination of Melanoma. At this point, a tumor has formed on the outermost layer of the skin, epidermis.
Stage 2: aka Stage I Melanoma
This stage is further categorized into two:
Stage IA: At this stage, the tumor is less than a mm deep and has no signs of an ulcer.
Stage 3: aka Stage II Melanoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma Early Stages
Basal cells are found within the skin and are responsible for producing new skin cells as old ones degenerate. Basal cell carcinoma starts with the appearance of slightly transparent bumps, but they may also show through other symptoms.
In the beginning, a basal cell carcinoma resembles a small bump, similar to a flesh-colored mole or a pimple. The abnormal growths can also look dark, shiny pink, or scaly red in some cases.
Skin Cancer Pictures: What Does Skin Cancer Look Like
Skin cancer images by skin cancer type. Skin cancer can look different than the photos below.
Skin cancer often presents itself as a change in the skins appearance. This could be the appearance of a new mole or other mark on the skin or a change in an existing mole.
Please remember that you should always seek advice from your doctor if you have any concern about your skin. Skin cancers often look different from skin cancer images found online.
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See A Suspicious Spot See A Dermatologist
If you find a spot on your skin that could be skin cancer, its time to see a dermatologist. Found early, skin cancer is highly treatable. Often a dermatologist can treat an early skin cancer by removing the cancer and a bit of normal-looking skin.
Given time to grow, treatment for skin cancer becomes more difficult.
Each Type Of Skin Cancer Looks A Little Different
According to Dr. Wofford, Most people think of melanoma, which typically looks like a dark spot on the skin, but actually, there are many different types of skin cancer. Each type looks a little different, so in addition to understanding how to tell the difference between benign skin spots and cancerous lesions, it may be beneficial to learn a little more about the appearance of each type of skin cancer.
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Don’t Miss: Skin Cancer Spreading To Lymph Nodes
What Is Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the skin. Skin cancer usually arises on skin exposed to the sun, such as the face, lips, ears, scalp, neck, chest, arms and hands and on the legs especially in women. Though more common in lighter skin tones, skin cancer affects people of all skin tones.
There are three major types of skin cancer:
Each type of skin cancer has a different pathology and presentation.
What Does Stage 1 Skin Cancer Look Like
Stage 1: The cancer is up to 2 millimeters thick. It has not yet spread to lymph nodes or other sites, and it may or may not be ulcerated. Stage 2: The cancer is at least 1 mm thick but may be thicker than 4 mm. It may or may not be ulcerated, and it has not yet spread to lymph nodes or other sites.
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How Does This Skin Cancer Detection Technology Work
MoleSafe incorporates the total body photography, digital dermoscopy, serial monitoring, and risk assessment procedures to diagnose melanoma at the earliest possible stage, explains Dr. Bezozo.
Using the system, a patients images can be evaluated by the dermoscopist quickly and effectively, often reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
There are more new cases yearly of skin cancer than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. The MoleSafe system produces high-resolution diagnostic images and creates a profile for your skin thats monitored for any changes in moles.
How Is The Stage Determined
The system most often used to stage basal and squamous cell skin cancers is the American Joint Commission on Cancer TNM system. The most recent version, effective as of 2018, applies only to squamous and basal cell skin cancers of the head and neck area . The stage is based on 3 key pieces of information:
- The size of the tumor and if it has grown deeper into nearby structures or tissues, such as a bone
- If the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes
- If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body
Numbers or letters after T, N, and M provide more details about each of these factors. Higher numbers mean the cancer is more advanced.
Once a persons T, N, and M categories have been determined, this information is combined in a process called stage grouping to assign an overall stage. The earliest stage of skin cancer is stage 0 . The other stages range from I through IV . As a rule, the lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, such as stage IV, means cancer has spread more.
If your skin cancer is in the head and neck area, talk to your doctor about your specific stage. Cancer staging can be complex, so ask your doctor to explain it to you in a way you understand. For more information, seeCancer Staging.
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How To Check Yourself
By checking your skin regularly, you will learn to recognize what spots, moles, and marks are already present and how they typically appear. The more you get to know your skin, the easier it will be for you to detect changes, such as new lesions or spots and moles that have changed in shape, size, or color, or have begun bleeding.
It is best to use a full-length mirror when checking your skin for changes or early signs of skin cancer. Observe your body in the mirror from all anglesfront, back, and on each side.
Taking each part of the body in turn, start with your hands and arms, carefully examining both sides of the hands and the difficult to see places like the underarms. Move on to your legs and feet, making sure to check the backs of your legs, soles of your feet, and between your toes.
Use a small mirror to get a closer look at your buttocks and your back. You can also use a small mirror to examine your face, neck, head, and scalp. Don’t forget to part your hair and feel around your scalp.
What Does Early Signs Of Melanoma Look Like
What Does Melanoma Look Like?
- Asymmetry: The shape of one half does not match the other half.
- Border that is irregular: The edges are often ragged, notched, or blurred in outline.
- Color that is uneven: Shades of black, brown, and tan may be present.
- Diameter: There is a change in size, usually an increase.
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Where Does Kaposi Sarcoma Develop
KS tumors, also called lesions, may develop on skin, mucous membranes, or internal organs. The number of lesions depends on the type of KS. People with classic KS may only have one lesion on the ankle or foot.1 People with AIDS-related KS may have multiple, widespread lesions.1
Skin lesions are most common on the face or legs.2 Lesions can form in the mucous membranes that line the mouth, nose, throat, and eyelids.2 Lesions may develop on internal organs, including the lungs, liver, spleen, and digestive tract.1,2
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Common Places For Melanoma To Spread
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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What Are The Causes And Risk Factors For Melanoma
Guideline # 5: Individual sunburns do raise one’s risk of melanoma. However, slow daily sun exposure, even without burning, may also substantially raise someone’s risk of skin cancer.
Factors that raise one’s risk for melanoma include the following:
- Caucasian ancestry
- Fair skin, light hair, and light-colored eyes
- A history of intense, intermittent sun exposure, especially in childhood
- Many moles
- Large, irregular, or “funny looking” moles
- Close blood relatives — parents, siblings, and children — with melanoma
The presence of close family with melanoma is a high risk factor, although looking at all cases of melanoma, only 10% of cases run in families.
Having a history of other sun-induced skin cancers raises one’s risk of melanoma because they are markers of long-term sun exposure. The basic cell type is different, however, and a basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma cannot “turn into melanoma” or vice versa.
It is no longer recommended to do large batteries of screening tests on patients with thin, uncomplicated melanoma excisions, but patients who have had thicker tumors diagnosed or who already have signs and symptoms of metastatic melanoma may need to have MRIs, PET scans, CT scans, chest X-rays, or other X-rays of bones when there is a concern of metastasis.
The biopsy report may show any of the following:
In general, early localized melanoma is treated by surgery alone.
Complementary And Alternative Treatments
It’s common for people with cancer to seek out complementary or alternative treatments. When used alongside your conventional cancer treatment, some of these therapies can make you feel better and improve your quality of life. Others may not be so helpful and in some cases may be harmful.
It is important to tell all your healthcare professionals about any complementary medicines you are taking. Never stop taking your conventional treatment without consulting your doctor first.
All treatments can have side effects. These days, new treatments are available that can help to make many side effects much less severe than they were in the past.
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What Does A Normal Vs An Abnormal Mole Look Like
Normal moles are usually round or oval and smaller than a pencil eraser. They are one consistent color , with a clear border. Most people have less than 50 moles. You can be born with moles, develop them with age or even have some disappear.
Cancerous, or malignant, moles may vary greatly in appearance. To help identify moles that might indicate melanoma, think of the letters A-B-C-D-E:
- A | Asymmetry: Mole is an irregular shape, such as if one side looks different than the other
- B | Border: Mole has irregular, ragged, notched or scalloped borders
- C | Color: Mole has more than one color or uneven shading
- D | Diameter: Mole is bigger than a pencil eraser
- E | Evolution: Mole changes in some way
Talk to your doctor, if you notice any skin changes that seem unusual.
Risk Of Further Melanomas
Most people treated for early melanoma do not have further trouble with the disease. However, when there is a chance that the melanoma may have spread to other parts of your body, you will need regular check-ups.
Your doctor will decide how often you will need check-ups everyone is different. They will become less frequent if you have no further problems.
After treatment for melanoma it is important to limit exposure to the sun’s UV radiation. A combination of sun protection measures should be used during sun protection times .
As biological family members usually share similar traits, your family members may also have an increased risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers. They can reduce their risk by spending less time in the sun and using a combination of sun protection measures during sun protection times.
It is important to monitor your skin regularly and if you notice any changes in your skin, or enlarged lymph glands near to where you had the cancer, see your specialist as soon as possible.
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Can Skin Cancer Appear Suddenly
It is the most common type of skin cancer. While basal cell tumors can be small or large, they rarely spread to other parts of the body. Signs include a new or growing bump that is skin colored, pink, or shiny. A growth can develop slowly or appear suddenly.
Signs And Symptoms Of Penile Cancer
There are a number of symptoms which indicate penile cancer in men. Since penile cancer is rare and all of these symptoms could be caused by some other conditions too, so it is better to consult a doctor whenever the symptoms are found. The most common symptom found in penile cancer is a form of rash, wart-like growth or a lump on the penis, usually on the head of the penis or beneath the foreskin that doesn’t go away within 4 weeks. Sometimes the lump can be present elsewhere in the groin.
Although the rashes, warts and lumps may not be harmful always and even can be the signs of other conditions, still one should not ignore it and consult a doctor immediately. Some of the common symptoms of penile cancer are:
- Discharge of blood from the penis or beneath the foreskin.
- Discharge with bad smell
- Any kind of color change in the penis or foreskin
- Irritation, itching, discomfort or sharp pain in the penis
- Difficulty in phimosis due to thickening of the skin of the penis
- Difficulty in urination
- Swelling in the lymph nodes in groin area
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Melanoma And Skin Cancer Removal Houston Tx
Dr. Michael J. Streitmann is a board-certified plastic surgeon based in the Houston area. He can assist you in identifying and removing cancerous moles.
We provide some proprietary skin care products as well to help you protect your skin from the suns harmful rays, keep it moisturized and nourished, and improve your complexion.
We welcome you to reach out to our office locations in Houston and Conroe, Texas at any time to learn more about melanoma removal. Well take a look at any moles on your body and advise you of any next steps you need to take if any.
Contact us at to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Michael J. Streitmann to have your moles checked out.
Image Credit: Getty/ LightFieldStudios
What Does Scalp Melanoma Look & Feel Like
When it comes to looking for scalp melanoma, Dr. Walker says, Because of hair growth and general difficulty clearly seeing the top of the head, it can be a challenge to see melanoma forming on the scalp. In addition to your own examinations, you may also want to chat with your hair professional. If one person regularly cuts your hair, they may be in a unique position to screen for common warning signs of scalp melanoma, so chat with your barber or stylist at your next appointment.
The first step to finding scalp melanoma is simple you need to know what youre looking and feeling for. Melanoma on any area of the skin usually looks like common skin conditions, which is one of the main reasons why its overlooked on other parts of the body. Melanomas may be mistaken for warts, moles, freckles, age spots, ulcers, or sores, and in some cases, they grow out of pre-existing skin growths. Melanoma lesions may bleed regularly, feel painful, or tingle.
To differentiate between benign skin lesions and potential scalp melanoma, keep the ABCDEs of skin cancer in mind:
- A Asymmetry Are the sides of the mole the same, or are they noticeably different?
- B Border Do the edges of the spot look jagged or otherwise atypical?
- C Color Is the color different from other spots on your body, or does the color vary throughout the lesion?
- D Diameter Is the mole larger than 6 mm ?
- E Evolution Is the mole changing in any way ?
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