5 things you need to know about melanoma

Washington: In a recent study researchers have outlined five important points about malignant skin cancer called melanoma.

The study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) highlighted the following five points about melanoma.

• Sun exposure is an important factor in the development of melanoma, so it often appears on the face, neck, arms and torso, where sun exposure is common.

• Melanoma can also occur on areas with minimal sun exposure, such as palms and soles of the feet.

• A specific mitogen-activated pathway is linked to mutations causing melanoma and genomic sequencing helps in identifying markers for diagnosis and treatment.

• About 10 per cent of melanomas are challenging to diagnose as they may be pink, red, clear or normal skin-coloured.

• Patients with any suspicious skin lesions should be referred to dermatology. Coloured lesions with any of the ABCDE criteria — Asymmetric shape, irregular Border, Colour variation, Diameter greater than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser) and Evolution (change) — should be considered suspicious.