May is the month of melanoma: why is this disease so scary?
Tra le diverse lesioni che possono colpire la pelle il melanoma ha senza dubbio un ruolo predominante per la sua aggressività. La prevenzione resta oggi l’arma più importante per sconfiggerlo!
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The different types of skin lesions
When we talk about skin lesions, we mean a set of more or less serious pathologies that can affect the skin of your face and body. These are skin lesions of varying degrees: for example, macules (flat and not palpable, a category which includes skin spots), papules (which include beauty marks, warts and different types of keratoses), and plaques (rounded or even vesicles and blisters, which often reveal an allergic, traumatic nature or dermatitis). Skin lesions present a great variety of shapes and colors, as well as different causes and severities. In the presence of any lesion, only a dermatological examination can allow correct identification and therefore the possibility of intervening in an adequate manner.
A particularly significant lesion: melanoma
Skin melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer that originates from melanocytes, the skin cells responsible for the formation of melanin. This substance serves to protect the nucleus of keratinocytes, the main components of the epidermis, from damage of sunlight (in particular UVA and UVB rays).
It can affect all age groups, although it is extremely rare in pediatrics. It is a frequent tumor in young people being the second most frequent tumor in men under 50 and the third in women of the same age group, with women being slightly more affected than men. The main risk factors are:
- UV exposure
- The presence of many moles (more than 100)
- Low phototype (fair skin, freckled and fair hair)
- Family history of melanoma
Why is melanoma so scary?
Because melanoma affects so many young people and is often discovered too late without adequate prevention. Clinically, it mostly manifests as an atypical mole (brown or dark brown spot) that can show asymmetry, irregular edges, discoloration and changes over time. Advanced lesions are generally nodular, while early ones, smaller than 6 mm, are indistinguishable from a typical mole to the naked eye. This is precisely why early diagnosis is essential.
Prevention: essential, fast, painless!
An annual mapping of the moles is enough to prevent melanoma. A non-invasive and painless examination that identifies suspicious lesions in 30 minutes.
Survival 5 years after diagnosis is high, on average at 87%. It is completely curable if detected early and eliminated with a correct surgical removal in its initial phase.
Prevention today represents the real weapon to defeat melanoma: May is the month dedicated specifically to this. Prevention can save your skin!
SOTHERGA supports Melanoma Prevention Month through the #CheckYourSkin campaign.