When found early and treated, the cure rate is nearly 100%. However, when allowed to grow, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body, where it can be deadly. Like other skin cancers, melanoma is the result of damaged DNA. It begins in the basal layer of the skin, affecting pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. The tumor often resembles a harmless mole, which grows or changes rapidly. While no one is immune to the harmful effects of the sun, certain factors may increase the likelihood of developing skin cancer, including a family history or personal history of melanoma, fair skin, tanning bed usage, and the number of moles on a patient’s body.
During your visit to Thomas Dermatology, our providers will perform detailed skin examinations to identify any suspicious moles and take action if necessary. We will also educate you on the warning signs associated with suspicious moles. It is important to take time to examine the moles on your skin and your loved ones’ because this is a good way to find melanoma early.