Melanoma

Who gets melanoma?

The highest reported rates of melanoma in the world are in Australia and New Zealand. In 2012, invasive melanoma was the third most common cancer in males (after prostate and colorectal cancers) and in females (after breast and colorectal cancers).

Melanoma can occur in adults of any age.

The main risk factors for developing the most common type of melanoma (superficial spreading melanoma) include:

  • Increasing age
  • Previous invasive melanoma or melanoma in situ
  • Previous basal or squamous cell carcinoma
  • Many moles
  • Multiple (>5) atypical naevi (large or histologically dysplastic moles)
  • Strong family history of melanoma with 2 or more first-degree relatives affected
  • White skin that burns easily
  • Parkinson disease.

What causes melanoma?

Melanoma is thought to begin as uncontrolled growth of melanocytic stem cells that have undergone genetic transformation. Superficial forms of melanoma spread out within the top layer of the skin.

Further genetic changes promote the tumour to invade through the basement membrane into surrounding dermis, when it becomes an invasive melanoma. Once the melanoma cells spread deeper into the layers of the skin, they may spread to other tissues via the lymphatic system to the local lymph nodes or via the blood stream to other organs such as the lungs or brain.

What are the clinical features of melanoma?

Melanomas can occur anywhere on the body, not only in areas that get a lot of sun.

Although melanoma usually starts as a skin lesion and looks like an unusual freckle or mole. A melanoma may be detected at an early stage when it is only a few millimetres in diameter, but it may grow to several centimetres in diameter before it is diagnosed.

  • A melanoma may have a variety of colours including tan, dark brown, black, blue, red and, occasionally, light grey.
  • Melanomas that are lacking pigment are called amelanotic melanoma.
  • There may be areas of regression that are the colour of normal skin, or white and scarred.

During its horizontal phase of growth, a melanoma is normally flat. As the vertical phase develops, the melanoma becomes thickened and raised. Some melanomas are itchy or tender. More advanced lesions may bleed easily or crust over. Not all lesions with these characteristics are malignant. Not all melanomas show these characteristics.

To book your skin check, please book with Drs. Maureen Ryan, Nurman Noor or Samantha Wyton by calling reception on 62951460 or online at www.cygnetfamilypractice.com

Melanoma can occur in adults of any age.

The main risk factors for developing the most common type of melanoma (superficial spreading melanoma) include:

  • Increasing age
  • Previous invasive melanoma or melanoma in situ
  • Previous basal or squamous cell carcinoma
  • Many moles
  • Multiple (>5) atypical naevi (large or histologically dysplastic moles)
  • Strong family history of melanoma with 2 or more first-degree relatives affected
  • White skin that burns easily
  • Parkinson disease.

Melanomas can occur anywhere on the body, not only in areas that get a lot of sun.

Although melanoma usually starts as a skin lesion and looks like an unusual freckle or mole. A melanoma may be detected at an early stage when it is only a few millimetres in diameter, but it may grow to several centimetres in diameter before it is diagnosed.

  • A melanoma may have a variety of colours including tan, dark brown, black, blue, red and, occasionally, light grey.
  • Melanomas that are lacking pigment are called amelanotic melanoma.
  • There may be areas of regression that are the colour of normal skin, or white and scarred.

To book your skin check, please book with Drs. Maureen Ryan, Nurman Noor or Samantha Wyton by calling reception on 62951460 or online at www.cygnetfamilypractice.com

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Flu Vaccination Program

In line with the Governments winter program objective of maximising flu vaccination this winter, the Tasmanian Government will provide flu vaccinations free for 31 days.

The program will run from Monday 6 June until Wednesday 6 July.

Please call us on 62951460 or book online.