Melanoma, also known as malignant melanoma (MM), is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It often appears as an abnormal mole that is multicolored, asymmetric, has irregular borders, and/or is larger than the eraser tip of a pencil.
Melanoma occurs when unrepaired damage to the DNA within pigment producing cells called Melanocytes triggers those cells to mutate and then cause the skin to multiply rapidly and form tumors. Sun exposure plays a large role in the development of melanoma, but so is genetics. If an immediate family member has experienced melanoma, your risk of having it is higher than someone whose family tree does not contain melanoma.
When detected early, melanoma can often be cured with minor surgery. Cure rates decrease if the tumor has deepened in the skin layers and spread to lymph nodes and other organs.
Performing a full-body self skin exam once a month for signs of any suspicious lesions can help you identify skin cancer early. Take note of any new moles or any changes in existing skin growths that cause them to look different than your normal moles. If you are unsure what to look for, come see Dr. Michael J. Messina and our providers for more information about melanoma and other skin cancers.
Depending on your condition, Dr. Michael J. Messina may perform a surgical excision to remove melanoma. This allows our dermatologist to pinpoint the cancer’s exact location and preserve as much healthy tissue as possible.
We encourage you to exercise proactivity in confronting skin abnormalities and notify Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Specialists if you notice a suspicious development or change in skin growths. We also invite you to speak with our providers if you have any questions or concerns about melanoma in Palm Desert, California. Contact our office at 760-773-6616 to schedule an appointment.