What is Amelanotic Melanoma?

There are different forms of skin cancer and amelanotic melanoma is one of them. However, it is not too easy to distinguish if a person developed melanoma but there are ways to know about it.

mole on the right shoulder

Most skin conditions can cause a lot of inconveniences, especially when a person’s skin is sensitive. Skin conditions have a lot of variations, mild, moderate, and severe. Severe skin conditions are the ones considered cancerous such as melanoma. 

Melanoma is a familiar word when it comes to skin cancer because it is the most common kind that made it well known compared to others. In this article, we will be learning about a specific form of melanoma called amelanotic melanoma. But first, let’s have a few ideas regarding melanoma and skin cancer.

The Origin Of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer starts when the skin cells begin to grow abnormally, thus affecting the normal production and growth of the overall number of healthy skin cells. The main cause of skin cancer is said to be overexposure to the sun and ultraviolet radiation, but other factors are considered to result in the growth of skin cancer.

There are three types of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. We will get to know more about them as we go along.

Where Does Skin Cancer Develop?

The common areas of the skin that develop cancer are those that are more exposed to the sun compared to others: face areas like the face itself and the lips, ears, scalp, chest, neck, on the arms, and the hands. For people who wear shorts and skirts, they may also develop skin cancer on certain spots on their legs. But not all skin cancers develop on exposed skin, there are also instances when they suddenly appear on more hidden skin parts like the palms, somewhere underneath the nails (either fingernails or toenails), and even the genital area.

Although the development of skin cancer has something to do with a person’s skin type and skin color, there are still many of us who are prone to getting cancer regardless of the condition of one’s skin. However, it is normal for people with the fairer complexion to encounter skin cancer, and it does have something to do with their skin color (which was the result of their melanin count).

What Are The Main Causes Of Cancer?

There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to what causes the development of cancer. Below are some of them.

People with fairer skin are more prone to skin cancer.

People with fair and whiter skin have low amounts of melanin in their bodies. The amount of melanin can be concluded depending on a person’s skin color, those who have darker skin tend to have richer amounts of melanin and this helps them in protecting their skin from harmful UV radiation.

Too much sun exposure

The sun is the greatest contributor to harmful UV radiation. So, if a person gets more sun exposure than required; and without the help of sunscreen and adequate clothing, they can already be a candidate for skin cancer development.

People who live in tropical areas

When you live in a tropical country, sun exposure is inevitable. But there are ways to somehow lessen the exposure and the damage by using sunscreen, umbrella, cap or hat, and clothing.

Family history

Like other types of cancer, skin cancer is said to be hereditary. You may want to start asking your family members and relatives if they tend to have abnormalities on their skin, because it may also be possible for you to get skin cancer.

What Is Amelanotic Melanoma?

Melanoma is a well-known type of cancer because of how common it develops. It is also dangerous because it may spread easily throughout the other areas of the skin. Under melanoma is a specific type that is almost harder to recognize than others because of its faint color and pigmentation – the amelanotic melanoma.

Throughout the history of amelanotic melanoma, it works almost like camouflage. It tends to blend well with the natural appearance of the skin. Checking and being familiar with its symptoms are helpful in identifying this type of melanoma. 

Also, there is a simpler way to check if the skin tends to develop amelanotic melanoma through a mole: the use of the letters ABCDE.

  • Asymmetrical Shape – The best way is to start checking the moles on the skin since one way to identify the development of melanoma is by having moles that are different in shape, pattern, or size.
  • Border – If you see moles that are not surrounded by distinct borders when you compare the mole area to the skin, it may start to develop into melanoma.
  • Change in Color – It is an irregular phenomenon when a specific mole in the body starts changing its color in time. However, there will be no issues when the moles’ color and appearance stay the same and they are mostly described to have the shade of dark brown.
  • Diameter – Moles that will have high chances of developing into melanoma are said to get bigger and grow up to about 6 millimeters in terms of diameter. If you notice a mole that suddenly grew larger you should go to your doctor or dermatologist to have it checked immediately.
  • Evolving – The simplest way to check if a mole is considered dangerous and about to be a cause for melanoma, study its overall appearance, and see if there are any changes.

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