What is melanoma?

Melanoma is a medical term that literally means “black tumor”. It concerns a local accumulation of pigment cells in the skin that have changed into cancer cells. Melanoma is the most life-threatening form of skin cancer. Even if it is relatively rare, it is seen more and more frequently. A melanoma usually comes from normal, healthy skin, but it can also arise from an existing birthmark. If you have any doubts about a spot on your body, book a consultation with one of our New York Dermatologists at Advanced Dermatology for the right diagnosis and treatment. We have four different practices in Manhattan.

How can you recognize melanoma?

To be able to recognize a (starting) melanoma there is the ABCDE rule that is easy to remember and use. A spot is suspicious if it has one or more of the following properties:

Asymmetry: the spot is not symmetrical in color or shape
Border: the spot has an irregular edge
Color: the spot has different colors or changes color
Diameter: the spot has a diameter of more than 6 mm
Evolving: the spot itches, bleeds or changes

If you have multiple moles, pay attention to the “ugly duckling”. This is a birthmark that looks a bit different than the other moles, which you may want to have checked at our practice in Tribeca, Manhattan (New York).

What are the risk factors for developing a melanoma?

A number of risk factors are known for the development of melanoma:

  1. Too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation: a sunburn at a young age can increase the risk of melanoma. Remember that UV radiation is not only present in sunlight but also in tanning devices, such as a solarium.
  2. Light skin color: people with light skin color, with freckles or blond, reddish hair that do not tan easily and burn quickly are more likely to get melanoma.
  3. Genetic predisposition: in the cases where several family members have had or currently have melanoma, the predisposition increases. In 5% of cases, another family member also happens to have skin cancer.
  4. The presence of many ordinary or troubling birthmarks: a slightly increased risk factor for getting a melanoma is having a lot of (more than 50) moles or 3 or more troublesome birthmarks.
  5. Innate birthmarks: the risk involved depends on the size of these birthmarks. In a small innate mole, the risk is very small (<1%); the risk is slightly higher in the giant birth-spot (about 5%).
  6. Toxic environmental factors: recent studies show that exposure to toxic chemicals, air pollution, smoking, Western food, as well as chronic inflammation, obesity and an unhealthy lifestyles are all recognized as risk factors for getting a melanoma.

Where can melanoma be treated in Manhattan, New York?

There are a number of methods for treating melanoma. They are broken into two categories: surgical and non-surgical. The choice of treatment depends on the type of the melanoma, in addition to the location and size of the melanoma and the age and general health of the patient. The treatment that gives the best possible results will be chosen.

Melanoma Consultation Tribeca, Manhattan, New York

For more information about melanoma treatment and diagnosis, fill out the form below or call us at 718-857-7070 to schedule your consultation with an expert physician at Advanced Dermatology in Tribeca.

ADDITIONAL MELANOMA LOCATIONS

For the convenience of patients outside of Tribeca we also offer melanoma consultations elsewhere 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 Ridgewood, Bergen County, NJ
  • 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