Chiropractic Healing Works

Chiropractic Healing Works

The 101 On Melanoma Diagnosis And Treatment

by Charlie Berry

Regular visits to your doctor and following a healthy diet and exercise plan can help reduce your risk of health problems. However, conducting self-exams periodically at home is also smart for early diagnosis of many medical issues such as cancer. Considering you have an greater risk of developing melanoma if you have 100 or more moles on your body, these self-exams can mean the difference between life and death. Using this guide on melanoma, you will understand the proper way to conduct a self-exam, the signs to look for, and the various options to treat skin cancer.

Self-Exam Steps

 While it may not seem appealing, self-exams locate and document changes in your skin. In between your doctor's exams, complete the following steps:

  1. In front of a mirror, inspect your face, neck, chest, abdominal area, and breasts. Be sure to lift up and inspect under each breast, as well.
  2. While still in front of the mirror, lift up arms to check both sides and the armpits. Also, check in between your fingers and on both sides of your hands.
  3. Sit on a comfortable chair and check your thighs, shins, and feet. Make sure to look in between and under your toes, as well.
  4. Hold a handheld mirror under your thighs to give yourself a better visual of the back of your legs.
  5. Move the handheld mirror towards your back. Use the reflection to check your buttocks, back, and the back side of your head and neck.
  6. Use your fingers to feel your scalp for any noticeable bumps or skin issues. Use a brush or comb to part your hair in various locations, inspecting the scalp for visible bumps, moles, or other surface issues.

Signs of Melanoma

Self-exams are easy to complete, but understanding what you are searching for can be difficult.

Use a notebook to document the feel and appearance of your skin. This documentation can help determine if a mole is new, smaller, or larger from your previous exam. Pay attention to any cuts or lesions on the skin, as well. At each self-exam, document the location, size, shape, and consistency of these imperfections. If they begin to bleed, become painful, or take an excessive amount of time to heal, consult your doctor immediately.

Fortunately, moles and other skin lesions are not always cancerous, so your doctor may need to complete a biopsy. If not cancerous, you and your doctor can determine whether a removal of the mole or lesion is necessary.

Melanoma Treatment

While a cancer diagnosis is frightening, panicking will only make you and your family members feel worse about the situation. Once you receive the diagnosis and know the stage of your cancer, you and your doctor can work together to design a treatment plan. Depending on the stage, treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery – In most cases, your dermatologist will remove the skin lesion during the initial biopsy. However, an additional surgery may be necessary to remove the surrounding skin. For many patients, this is sufficient for treating their melanoma.
  • Mohs Surgery – If your melanoma is more progressed, your surgeon may suggest Mohs surgery, which removes the cancerous skin in layers. After each is removed, the layers are inspected under a scope for skin cancer cells. If cells are still present, an additional layer is removed. Thin layers are removed until no skin cancer cells are present.
  • Chemotherapy – As with other cancers, chemotherapy may be a treatment option for your melanoma. Injected into the bloodstream through an IV or taken orally in a pill form, chemo kills the cancer cells. Since chemo is so involved, it is not used as a first step in treatment of skin cancer.

Melanoma is the most common form of cancer, but it can be treated with early diagnosis. Using this guide on self-exams and signs, you will have the tools needed to receive effective treatment. If you have to undergo surgery reach out to a place like Countryside Dermatology & Laser Center for more information. 


About Me

Chiropractic Healing Works

I used to be skeptical about chiropractic healing. However, that was before I tried it for myself. I was in an accident that did serious damage to my back. I followed all of the doctor’s recommendations, did my physical therapy, and still didn’t feel any better. That was when I finally decided to try going to my friend’s chiropractor. It was such a relief when I finally started to feel better thanks to the great chiropractic care I received. That’s when I decided to start researching chiropractic care and how it could be used to treat different conditions. This blog contains the results of that research. If you’re looking for a way to feel better, you too may benefit from chiropractic healing. These articles will help you learn how.