Cancer is a condition that causes cells to divide uncontrollably, resulting in tumour growth and immune system dysfunction. If a person does not receive therapy or if the cancer is incurable, many cancers are fatal.
Doctors define cancer based on the site where it began or the type of tissue from which it emerged.
Carcinoma: This is a cancer that arises in epithelial tissues such as the gastrointestinal system or mucous membranes. According to the National Cancer Institute, carcinomas account for 80 to 90 percent of all cancer cases.
Leukaemia: This is a malignancy that develops in the bone marrow, which is responsible for the production of blood cells.
Lymphoma: Lymphoma is a cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which includes the spleen, tonsils, and thymus. This system is linked to immunological function and hormone production.
Mixed malignancies: Mixed cancers are cancers that grow in two separate types of cells from one or more groups
Myeloma :This form of cancer develops in plasma cells that circulate in the bloodstream and is frequently seen in the bone marrow.
Melanoma: is a kind of skin cancer that affects both men and women.
Sarcoma : Sarcomas form in connective tissue and can affect the bones, muscle, fat, and cartilage. Young persons are more likely to get sarcomas.
Melanoma is a disorder in which Melanocytes (cells that colour the skin) become malignant (cancer) cells . There are a variety of cancers that begin in the skin. Melanoma may develop anywhere on the body’s surface. Melanoma risk is influenced by unusual moles, sun exposure, and medical history. Melanoma is a kind of skin cancer that spreads rapidly. Cutaneous melanoma kills 55,000 people per year, and once it spreads, it becomes life-threatening quickly.
Melanoma is more common in fair-skinned people, and the prevalence of melanoma is greatest in New Zealand and Australia. Melanoma is caused by UV radiation exposure, the presence of atypical moles, and a family history of the disease.
Melanoma is classified into five stages, ranging from 0 to 4, according to one technique of assigning a stage to the cancer:
- Stage 0: The cancer has only spread to the top layer of the skin. Melanoma in situ is how doctors refer to this stage.
- Stage 1: The cancer has grown to a thickness of up to 2 millimeters (mm). It hasn’t migrated to lymph nodes or other organs, and it might be ulcerated or not.
- Stage 2: The cancer is at least 1 mm thick, but it might be up to 4 mm thick. It might be ulcerated or not, and it hasn’t migrated to lymph nodes or other areas yet.
- Stage 3: The cancer has progressed to one or more lymph nodes or surrounding lymphatic pathways, but not to other parts of the body.
- Stage 4: Cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes or organs such the brain, lungs, or liver.
Melanoma may be classified into four categories. In the sections below, you may learn more about each category.
- Superficial spreading melanoma
Melanoma of this sort is the most frequent, and it usually develops on the trunk or limbs. At first, the cells develop slowly before spreading across the skin’s surface.
- Nodular melanoma
Melanoma of the trunk, head, or neck is the second most frequent kind of melanoma. It grows more
quickly than other varieties and might be reddish or blue-black in hue.
- Lentigo Maligna melanoma
This is less frequent and more prevalent in elderly people, especially in areas of the body that have been exposed to the sun for a long time, such as the face.
It begins as a Hutchinson’s freckle, also known as Lentigo Maligna, which appears as a skin stain. It develops more slowly than other varieties of melanoma and is less hazardous.
- Acral lentiginous melanoma
This is the most uncommon kind of melanoma. It can be found on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, and even under the nails. Because other varieties of melanoma are uncommon in persons with darker skin, they are the most prevalent type of melanoma in people with darker complexion.
Melanoma is still being researched to find out what causes it.
Scientists do know, however, that some skin types are more likely to develop melanoma.
The following variables may also raise your chances of getting skin cancer:
- A high density of freckles or a proclivity to produce freckles after sun exposure
- An abundance of moles
- At least five unusual moles
- Actinic lentigines, often known as liver spots or age spots, are present.
- Dark brown birthmarks called gigantic congenital melanocytic nevi
- Pale skin that doesn’t tan well and burns quickly
- Light-coloured eyes
- Light or red hair
- Excessive sun exposure, especially if it causes blistering sunburn and is sporadic rather than continuous
- Advanced age
Melanoma can be difficult to detect in its early stages. It’s critical to keep an eye on the skin for any symptoms of alteration.
Melanoma can be detected by changes in the appearance of the skin. They are used by doctors in the diagnosis procedure.
The Melanoma Research Foundation provides images of melanomas and normal moles to assist people distinguish between the two.
They also include a list of symptoms that should cause a person to see a doctor, such as:
- Any changes in the colour, shape, or size of an existing spot or mole, such as a new spot or mole or a change in the colour, shape, or size of an existing spot or mole
- A non-healing skin ailment
- A swollen, uncomfortable, itchy, or tender patch of skin
- A blemish or a sore
Skin cancer is treated in the same way as other malignancies. Unlike many malignancies inside the body, however, the diseased tissue is simpler to reach and remove completely. As a result, surgery is the most common therapy for melanoma.
The lesion and part of the noncancerous tissue around it are removed during surgery. When the surgeon removes the lesion, it is sent to pathology to establish the degree of the cancer’s involvement and to ensure that all of it has been removed.
A skin graft may be required if the melanoma has spread to a wide portion of the skin.
A doctor may order a lymph node biopsy if there is a chance that the cancer has progressed to the lymph nodes.
They could also suggest Radiation therapy to treat melanoma, especially if it’s advanced.
Melanoma has the potential to spread to other organs. If this occurs, a doctor will recommend therapies based on the extent of the melanoma’s spread, which may include:
- Chemotherapy, which is when a doctor uses drugs to kill cancer cells.
- Immunotherapy, in which a doctor provides medications to the patient’s immune system to aid in the battle against cancer.
- Targeted treatment, in which drugs are used to discover and target specific genes or proteins found in melanoma.
Compiled by –
Mr. Kumara M
Lecturer , Department of Biochemistry
MVM COLLEGE OF ALLIED HEALTH SCIENCES