Nodular melanoma tends to spread rapidly to the vital organs. It might be fatal within months of diagnosis. It is responsible for 1-2 percent of all cancer deaths around the world. This article provides information on this severe form of skin cancer.
Melanin imparts color to the skin. Melanoma refers to a severe form of skin cancer affecting melanin. This cancer develops in the cells of the melanin. The eyes and internal organs are among the rarest places, which can also be affected by this cancer. The factors that are believed to cause this condition include exposure to the ultraviolet rays or tanning lamps and beds. Nodular melanoma (NM) is among the many types of this skin cancer; however, it is the most aggressive and severe form. It occurs in almost 15-20% of the cases.
NM is characterized by dome-shaped bumps, which might be black, dark, shiny, or scaly by nature. These bumps may appear anywhere on the body and may occur as black skin lumps. The person may also notice bumps that ooze or bleed. In some cases, they might be swollen, tender, and sometimes itchy.
NM grows rapidly, and it often carries a poor prognosis (a prediction of the course of a disease). Since its prognosis is difficult, determining the survival rate of people affected by NM also remains a challenge. According to most surveys, the early detection and treatment of this illness is related to higher survival rates.
The treatment employed for this condition is often aggressive and demands constant monitoring of the patient. The methods employed for the treatment of this aggressive disease are as follows:
Chemotherapy has been yielding positive results in the treatment of most NM cases. A combination of medicines might be administered intravenously, in pill form or both, for a certain period of time. However, there remains a lurking risk of recurrence of the disease, even after the treatment.
Radiation therapy is the other line of treatment, wherein, high energy X-rays are used to kill the cancer cells. It is also used for managing the symptoms caused due to metastasis or the spread of cancer to another organ.
Surgery is opted for cancers that have extended or grown beyond the skin. So, in order to relieve the person from the symptoms, the surgical removal of the melanoma is considered to be a better option. The person’s overall health and location of the cancer cells would determine whether this method of treatment can be opted.
Some of the preventive measures to avoid NM are reducing/avoiding sun exposure, early detection by getting the skin checked at least once, and screening of people who come in high-risk group (anyone with a close relative who has been affected by this condition).
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.