How dangerous is an untreated melanoma
The main sign of black skin cancer is a skin change that is dark in color. However, not every brown spot on the skin is the same as skin cancer. According to statistics, melanoma only develops from every 100,000th mole. Detecting black skin cancer is therefore not so easy for laypeople. Many patients get the diagnosis more or less randomly because they went to the doctor because a mole or mole began to itch or bleed.
However, since the earlier treatment begins, the chances of recovery are drastically higher, so early detection is of great importance in the case of black skin cancer. And those potentially affected can make the most important contribution by observing their "brown patches of skin" and regularly examining them themselves.
Malignant melanomas can differ in appearance, but you should see a doctor if:
- An existing birthmark begins to grow.
- A pre-existing birthmark is oozing, bleeding, or itchy.
- A birthmark is or becomes darker than other marks and / or looks different.
- A birthmark is colored differently (there are lighter and darker areas).
The so-called ABCDE rule helps to assess such skin changes even as a layperson and to be able to detect black skin cancer at an early stage. The letters stand for:
- Limitation (tongue-shaped runners, blurred borders to the surrounding skin or indentations can indicate a melanoma)
- Color (Color; melanomas are not colored all the way through, there are lighter and darker areas)
- diameter (If the birthmark has a diameter of more than five millimeters, this can indicate a melanoma)
- Sublimity / evaluation (if the brown spot is rough, scaly and raised above the skin level, this can be a melanoma symptom)
In men, melanomas often develop on the trunk, in women more on the arms and legs. In principle, however, melanomas can appear anywhere on the skin, even in areas that are difficult to observe. Black skin cancer under the nail of the fingers or toes, on the soles of the feet, in the genital area or under the hair of the head is well hidden, and the risk of overlooking a brown patch of skin is correspondingly high. It is advisable to consciously check these areas as well.
In end-stage black skin cancer, symptoms that trigger the daughter tumors can occur. Metastases in the brain can manifest themselves, for example, in persistent headaches, disorders of sensory perception and language, seizures, paralysis or changes in personality.
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