How soon do you have to catch melanoma?
It can become life-threatening in as little as six weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun.
What is considered early detection of melanoma?
Early melanomas are often varied shades of brown, tan or black. As they progress, red, white and blue may appear. The diameter is the width of a circle across its center. The diameter of a melanoma is usually larger than a mole, though it can be smaller.
How bad is melanoma if caught early?
Melanoma is usually curable when detected and treated early. Once melanoma has spread deeper into the skin or other parts of the body, it becomes more difficult to treat and can be deadly. The estimated five-year survival rate for U.S. patients whose melanoma is detected early is about 99 percent.
Are most melanomas slow growing?
The lesion can grow slowly for 5 to 15 years in the in situ form before becoming invasive. The exact percentage of lentigo maligna lesions that progress to invasive lentigo maligna melanoma is unknown but is estimated to be less than 30% to 50%.
What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?
Stage 1: The cancer is up to 2 millimeters (mm) thick. It has not yet spread to lymph nodes or other sites, and it may or may not be ulcerated. Stage 2: The cancer is at least 1 mm thick but may be thicker than 4 mm. It may or may not be ulcerated, and it has not yet spread to lymph nodes or other sites.
How is melanoma treated if caught early?
Treatment for early-stage melanomas usually includes surgery to remove the melanoma. A very thin melanoma may be removed entirely during the biopsy and require no further treatment. Otherwise, your surgeon will remove the cancer as well as a border of normal skin and a layer of tissue beneath the skin.
Can you have melanoma for years and not know?
How long can you have melanoma and not know it? It depends on the type of melanoma. For example, nodular melanoma grows rapidly over a matter of weeks, while a radial melanoma can slowly spread over the span of a decade. Like a cavity, a melanoma may grow for years before producing any significant symptoms.
Can you have stage 4 melanoma and not know it?
When stage 4 melanoma is diagnosed after a scan, there may be no symptoms at all, and it can be difficult to believe the cancer has spread. However, people with stage 4 melanoma may have a very wide range of symptoms. People who have melanoma diagnosed in the brain are told not to drive.
Does Stage 1 melanoma require chemo?
Treating stage I melanoma
Most often, no other treatment is needed. Some doctors may recommend a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) to look for cancer in nearby lymph nodes, especially if the melanoma is stage IB or has other characteristics that make it more likely to have spread.
Can a melanoma appear overnight?
Melanomas may appear suddenly and without warning. They are found most frequently on the face and neck, upper back and legs, but can occur anywhere on the body.
Where does melanoma usually start?
Melanomas can develop anywhere on the skin, but they are more likely to start on the trunk (chest and back) in men and on the legs in women. The neck and face are other common sites.