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Melanoma

Melanoma is a serious and dangerous form of skin cancer that develops due to damaged DNA in melanocytes — pigment-producing cells. It is usually caused by overexposure to UV light.

What is it?

Melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer that starts in the melanocyte cells - the cells that give skin color its pigment. Damage to the DNA in melanocytes is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet light, such as the sun, tanning beds and sun lamps. Over time, this damage can cause mutations, leading to skin cancer. Melanoma can spread quickly to other parts of the body if not caught and treated early, so early detection is critical.


In addition to your annual skin check with a board-certified provider at Associated Dermatologists, you can perform regular self-exams using the ABCDE method. See a dermatologist right away if a spot or mole has:


• A - Asymmetrical shape


• B - Borders that are irregular


• C - Colors that vary from one area to another


• D - Diameter larger than a pencil eraser


• E - Evolved its size, shape, or color from a previous exam


You can limit your risk of developing melanoma by minimizing your exposure to the sun and protecting your skin from UV rays. And while we know the sun is fun, it can also be harmful. Damage from the sun can accumulate all year round in Michigan - even in the cold of winter. Be sure to use SPF 30+ sunscreen and limit your time in those harmful rays.


How is it treated?

If you have a suspicious mole or spot, schedule now with one of our skin cancer experts in Berkley, Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield, Commerce, or Novi, Michigan. The Associated Dermatologist team will perform an in-office skin biopsy to test suspicious spots. Your tissue sample will then be sent to a dermapathologist to determine if it contains cancer cells. Treatment for melanoma depends on the type of melanoma you have and the disease stage – 0, I, II, III or IV. No matter your stage, the team at Associated Dermatologists is ready to provider expert, compassionate care.


Our team has specialized training and certification across melanoma treatments including surgical excision, Mohs surgery, immunotherapy, targeted drug therapy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. As part of DOCS Dermatology Group, our team also has access to cutting-edge clinical trials for cancers that are less responsive to traditional treatment.


THE TREATMENTS BELOW CAN HELP WITH MELANOMA:

Melanoma is primarily caused by exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds. To minimize the risk, it's crucial to always wear sunscreen. Additionally, choosing annual skin checks with the team of board-certified dermatologists at Associated Dermatologists is essential for early detection and effective management of any suspicious skin changes.

While it may not be entirely preventable, the risk of melanoma can be significantly reduced by practicing sun safety measures. This includes wearing sunscreen, protective clothing, and avoiding prolonged sun exposure. Regular skin checks and early detection through annual screenings with board-certified dermatologists are important to identifying and treating skin cancer.

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