What is melanoma?

Melanoma is a malignant mole that often comes from an existing birthmark, though it can appear on its own. Melanomas can occur in all areas of the body. In women, this form of skin cancer is more common on the legs; in men, it is more often seen on the trunk. In old age, melanomas can also occur in the head and neck area. In general, most types of skin cancers are seen mainly in elderly people. Melanoma, however, is a tumor that occurs relatively often in young patients. Melanoma is sometimes a familial disease, as several members of a family can have melanoma.

If you have a suspicious spot on your skin do not hesitate to book a consultation with one of our expert dermatologists at Advanced Dermatology on the Upper West Side of New York City today. You can find our practice in Central Park West, Manhattan.

How does melanoma develop?

Pigment cells (melanocytes) are present everywhere in normal skin. Sometimes the melanocytes lie close together in the skin and form a dark pigment spot that are known as birthmarks. Like other types of cells in the body, melanocytes can turn into cancer cells and skin cancer. This can happen with both melanocytes in moles and with melanocytes in other areas of the skin.

The main risk factors for getting melanoma are:

  • Excessive exposure to UV radiation, especially at a young age. A sunburn before 5 years old seems to cause an increased risk of developing melanoma later in life. Radiation from tanning beds is also considered dangerous.
  • People with light skin color, with freckles and/or blond/reddish hair are naturally more sensitive to UV radiation.
  • Genetic predisposition. As more family members have melanoma, the risk increases.
  • Having multiple troublesome birthmarks
  • Having more than 50 birthmarks

Prevention of melanoma with Advanced Dermatology on the Upper West Side

The sun plays an important role in the development of most melanomas. Repeated sunburns increase the chance of getting melanoma later in life. It is therefore important to protect your skin, and especially the skin of children, against sunburn. Melanoma is a special form of skin cancer because the patient can notice it at an early stage.

Approximately 30% of melanomas occur in an existing birthmark. That is why it is very important to check changes in birthmarks. For example, be alert if your birthmark has changed shape or color. Itching of the birthmark, pain or bleeding of the birthmark can also be alarming signs. When a birthmark becomes ‘restless’ it is important that you have it checked. If you are in doubt about a spot, book a consultation with one of our top dermatologists at our Upper West Side clinic in Manhattan.

Melanoma consultation in Upper West Side, Central Park West, Manhattan

For more information about our melanoma treatments, fill out the form below or call us at 718-857-7070 to schedule your consultation with one of our highly trained Upper West Side dermatologists. We provide melanoma consultations at our clinic on Central Park West, in Manhattan, New York.

ADDITIONAL MELANOMA LOCATIONS

Outside the Upper West Side, Manhattan region we also offer melanoma treatments and consultations at our other practices in New York and New Jersey:

  • Melanoma Bayside, Queens
  • Melanoma Upper East Side, Manhattan
  • Melanoma Ossining, Westchester
  • Melanoma Roslyn Heights,Nassau County
  • Melanoma Commack, Suffolk County
  • Melanoma Fresh Meadows, Queens
  • Melanoma Upper West Side, NYC
  • Melanoma Briarcliff
  • Manor, Westchester
  • Melanoma West Islip, Long Island
  • Melanoma East Setauket, Long Island
  • Melanoma Summit, Union County, NJ
  • Melanoma Bellmore, Nassau County