Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago
Dermatology located in River North, Chicago, IL
Melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, requires an early diagnosis for the best possible treatment outcome. The dermatology experts at Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago can screen you for melanoma and teach you to recognize potential skin cancer. To schedule an appointment at the office in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, call or book online today.
What is melanoma?
Melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer that spreads more easily than other types, like basal or squamous cell carcinomas. An early diagnosis is extremely important because the cancerous cells can spread to the lymph nodes and throughout your body without it.
Melanoma develops in the cells that produce your skin’s pigment, which are called melanocytes. Like other forms of skin cancer, it often comes from ultraviolet (UV) light damage from too much sun exposure or time in a tanning booth.
It usually develops in areas that get lots of sunlight, like your arms, face, or scalp, but occasionally develops in other areas like the soles of the feet.
What does melanoma look like?
The team at Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago encourages you to check your skin regularly for new or changing moles and to come in for screenings if you’re at high risk for skin cancer. Melanoma often affects existing moles but can also develop as a new spot or lesion on your skin.
You should examine the moles you already have for:
- Asymmetrical shapes
- Irregular or blurry borders
- Changes in color
- Growing diameters
- Changes in size or shape over time
The appearances of these moles vary widely, and you should trust your instinct and come in for an exam if a mole appears different than you remember it. You should also book an appointment if you see a new spot on your skin or under a nail.
What are my treatment options for melanoma?
The team at Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago coordinates your care with any other providers working to treat your skin cancer. To treat melanoma after you get a diagnosis, you may need a combination of:
Surgical oncology refers to the physical removal of the melanoma lesion and often a margin of skin around it for safety. Sometimes, the team at Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago uses Mohs surgery to remove as little surrounding tissue as possible, but this approach is usually reserved for basal and squamous cell carcinomas.
Medical oncology refers to other treatments that kill cancer besides the surgeries that directly remove it. Your medical oncology treatment plan for melanoma might involve immunotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
To schedule an appointment and learn more about melanoma treatment options, call Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago, or book an appointment online today.
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