Oncology & Cancer

Racial differences seen in time to treatment for melanoma

(HealthDay)—Black patients are more likely to experience a longer delay from diagnosis to surgery versus white patients with melanoma, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Oncology & Cancer

Blocking tumor signals can hinder cancer's spread

For most people who die of cancer, the spread of the initial tumor is to blame. "Metastasis is what kills most cancer patients," says Serge Fuchs, a professor in Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine. "Yet there are not many, ...

Oncology & Cancer

The importance of a skin cancer check

Q: I turn 50 this year and at my annual physical, my doctor suggested I visit a dermatologist to check for melanoma. I have never had any suspicious moles or spots on my skin, so I've not had a skin check with a dermatologist ...

Oncology & Cancer

Melanoma risk from biologic therapy remains uncertain

(HealthDay)—Clinically important increases in melanoma risk in patients treated with biologic therapy for common inflammatory diseases cannot be ruled out based on current evidence, according to a review published online ...

Medications

Antihistamines may help patients with malignant melanoma

Can a very common allergy medicine improve survival among patients suffering from the serious skin cancer, malignant melanoma? A new study from Lund University in Sweden indicates that this may be the case.

Oncology & Cancer

Melanoma is killing fewest Americans in decades

Advances in treatment have led to the largest yearly declines in deaths due to melanoma ever recorded for this skin cancer, results of a new study suggest.

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Melanoma i/ˌmɛləˈnoʊmə/ (from Greek μέλας - melas, "dark") is a malignant tumor of melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that produce the dark pigment, melanin, which is responsible for the color of skin. They predominantly occur in skin, but are also found in other parts of the body, including the bowel and the eye (see uveal melanoma). Melanoma can occur in any part of the body that contains melanocytes.

Melanoma is less common than other skin cancers. However, it is much more dangerous and causes the majority (75%) of deaths related to skin cancer. Worldwide, doctors diagnose about 160,000 new cases of melanoma yearly. The diagnosis is more frequent in women than in men and is particularly common among Caucasians living in sunny climates, with high rates of incidence in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Latin America, and northern Europe. According to a WHO report, about 48,000 melanoma related deaths occur worldwide per year.

The treatment includes surgical removal of the tumor, adjuvant treatment, chemo- and immunotherapy, or radiation therapy. The chance of a cure is greatest when the tumor is discovered while it is still small and thin, and can be entirely removed surgically.

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