Melanoma

Doctor examining skin

Melanoma services offered in Trumbull, Westport and Derby, CT

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that affects more than 1 million Americans. At Adult & Pediatric Dermatology Specialists in Trumbull, Westport, and Derby, Connecticut, the outstanding dermatology team diagnoses and offers treatments for melanoma to reduce the risk of cancer spreading to other areas. Call the office to get screened for melanoma or schedule an appointment online today.

Melanoma Q & A

What is melanoma?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in cells that produce melanin, a pigment that creates color within the skin. When detected early, before it spreads to other areas of your body, melanoma is highly treatable. That’s why early detection and treatment are vital to beating melanoma and other types of skin cancer. 

What does melanoma look like?

The appearance of melanoma varies from person to person, but might look like:

  • Moles
  • Moles that change in size and color
  • New moles
  • Moles with irregular shapes or borders
  • Other types of skin growths
  • Quickly changing growths or moles

Melanoma can develop anywhere on your body, but it often appears in areas of your skin exposed to the sun, such as your face, arms, legs, or back. It might also develop on the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, or within your fingernail beds.

What are the risk factors for melanoma?

The most common cause of melanoma is unprotected sun exposure, but it can develop because of genetic factors, too. Common risk factors include:

  • Sun exposure
  • Using tanning beds
  • Fair skin
  • History of sunburn
  • Living in warm-weather climates
  • Family history of melanoma
  • Weakened immune system
  • Having more than 50 moles

To reduce your chance of developing melanoma, avoid unprotected sun exposure. That means sitting in the shade, wearing protective clothing, or using sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.

Don’t use tanning beds, and check your skin regularly to spot new or unusual changes in your skin in the early stages of melanoma. 

How does my dermatologist diagnose melanoma?

The Adult & Pediatric Dermatology Specialists diagnose melanoma after reviewing your symptoms and medical history, examining your skin, and asking about possible skin changes. They may take a biopsy of the affected skin and send it to a lab for analysis to determine if it contains cancerous cells.

How is melanoma treated?

Treatment for melanoma depends on its severity and whether or not the cancer has spread to other areas. Your dermatologist removes unusual tissues, sometimes layer by layer, to make sure all of the cancer is gone.

You may also need surgery to remove affected lymph nodes, immunotherapy, targeted drug therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or additional cancer treatments.

To find out if you have melanoma and to get treatment, call the Adult & Pediatric Dermatology Specialists office or use the online booking tool today.

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