Malignant Melanoma in Melbourne, FL
Of all the types of skin cancer, malignant melanoma is the most frightening, and it is imperative that you seek a skin cancer screening immediately if you notice a suspicious mole or growth that may be a melanoma. At Dermatology + Plastic Surgery, led by dermatologist Anita Saluja, MD and plastic surgeon Rebecca Novo, MD, skin cancer screening, surgery, and treatment for malignant melanoma is available for residents of Melbourne, Viera, Brevard County, the beaches, and surrounding communities in Central Florida.
What is Malignant Melanoma?
Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive and dangerous form of skin cancer. A melanoma frequently develops in a mole, or may suddenly appear as a new dark spot on the skin. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial. Knowing the ABCDE warning signs of melanoma can help you discern when to have a skin cancer screening.
What does Malignant Melanoma look like?
Typically, a malignant melanoma may present any of the following manners:
- A black or brown streak located underneath a toenail or fingernail
- A new flat dark spot with an irregular shape that has formed on the skin
- A mole that bleeds, itches, oozes, gets tender, or looks scaly
- A mole that continues growing and changes color or shape
- An indistinct pink bump with a scaly or rough texture
What are the ABCDE guidelines?
These easy to remember ABCDE guidelines can help you evaluate any potentially dangerous moles or growths on your skin, and seek cancer screening immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Asymmetry. The mole or growth is not symmetrical.
- Border. The mole or growth has a border that is jagged or blurry.
- Color. The color has changed over time, or a mole contains various colors. A PINK color that persists longer than 4 weeks should be professionally examined.
- Diameter. The mole or growth is larger than 1/4 inch in diameter or is small but growing in size
- Evolving. The mole or growth is changing over time.
If you have any moles that fit the ABCDE description, please call for an appointment. It is normal to develop more moles over a lifetime. Be sure to keep an eye on any new “ugly duckling” moles that develop on your skin – These are moles that do not fit in to your general type of mole and can be more worrisome.
For more information, visit: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer?
If you have melanoma, Dr. Saluja recommends:
Why is Malignant Melanoma so dangerous?
Malignant melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and poses the greatest threat because if untreated, melanoma may deepen and spread to other parts of the body and become potentially life threatening. Fortunately, malignant melanoma may be successfully treated if detected and treated when it is more superficial. Melanoma is unpredictable, so not all cases have an early superficial phase.
What is the treatment for Malignant Melanoma?
Malignant melanoma is always removed using surgery. Most often, this surgical removal can be done in the office or outpatient practice. Early detection is crucial to the treatment’s success. In advanced cases of malignant melanoma, chemotherapy may be combined with surgery, and in advanced cases, surgical testing (sentinel lymph node biopsy) and removal of lymph nodes may be indicated. In certain advanced cases, we will consult an oncologist or a cancer center for further treatment.
Does health insurance cover treatment for Malignant Melanoma?
Most health insurance does cover treatment of malignant melanoma. To help patients manage costs that may not be included in the health insurance coverage, our office offers flexible payment options.
If you have a suspicious looking growth or lesion on your skin that exhibits the ABCDE characteristics, contact Dermatology + Plastic Surgery, led by dermatologist Anita Saluja, MD and plastic surgeon Rebecca Novo, MD, and serving residents of Melbourne, Viera, Brevard County, the beaches, and nearby communities in Central Florida for immediate skin cancer screening to determine whether the growth is a malignant melanoma.