Melanoma is of skin cancer that can be caused strong sources of uv light. It usually appears as moles but in time the mole edges will become uneven and change color. If melanoma is left untreated it can spread all throughout the body. If melanoma is caught early enough it can be removed with something as small as a biopsy, if caught once spread into the lymph nodes it can be treated with chemotherapy or it can be removed by surgery. If melanoma is caught before it spreads into lymph nodes or any organs you have a 99% chance of living.
Melanoma is a non-hereditary disease, if a family member before you had the disease then you have a higher risk of getting it but you won’t get the actual disease. 90% of all people diagnosed with melanoma get it through some sort of UV light, mostly through sun light and not wearing sunscreen to help protect your skin but also from tanning beds if you use them too often. This disease is most commonly found caucasian americans because they have a lighter pigment of skin unlike people with a darker pigment of skin. The most common symptoms are moles, if the mole has rough edges or a different color around the edges or if the mole gets bigger in diameter.
The survival rate for melanoma is 99% if treated right away, 63% when the cancer reaches the lymph nodes and 20 percent if it reaches any major organs such as the heart, liver, lungs etc. Melanoma is most commonly found in the CDKN2A which is located on chromosome nine and protein p16 (INK4A). Mutations of the gene can cause the p16 protein to not function right which can lead to uncontrolled cell growth and tumors.
Unfortunately, being treated for melanoma doesn’t mean you can’t get another type of cancer. Survivors of skin melanoma can get any type of second cancer, but they have an increased risk of certain cancers, including another skin cancer, salivary gland cancer, small intestine cancer, kidney cancer and more. Melanoma cancer can be removed from the body with surgery or chemotherapy, some people even take different kinds of medicines like Keytruda, Mekinist, Opdivo etc. Melanoma is the the most common cancer found in ages 60-78 (based on a life span of 78) who have had a lot of direct sunlight throughout their life. At my age there is only a 23% chance that I will have skin cancer but later in life I might be screwed.
One of the main reasons I picked this disease was because my grandfather has it and has had it for almost a year, he recently went for surgery and had a lymph node gland removed from the side of his face. I wanted to see if I could find out more about it and maybe try to prevent it from happening in the future. Personally I think cancer is the worst growing disease around the world, it takes lives every few hours and a few of those lives have been close friends parents and now my grandfather has it. So It was a little bit personal researching this disease but it definitely di broaden my view on how you get it and how it affects you.