Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Melanoma, the Most Dangerous Skin Cancer

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Melanoma, the Most Dangerous Skin Cancer

Article excerpt

Dear Dr. Donohue: A month ago, I saw a black mole on my husband's back. I don't ever remember seeing it before. I insisted he see our doctor, who, in turn, referred him to a dermatologist. The diagnosis, proven by a biopsy, is melanoma. Naturally, I am devastated. Please tell me more about melanoma and what causes it. I heard or read some time ago that new treatments are available. Will you comment on those? - G.R.

Answer: Almost everyone has heard about melanoma, and almost everyone is terri-fied of it. It is the most deadly skin cancer. Identifying a melanoma can be tricky for the untrained. Its characteristics are summarized by the letters A, B, C, D and E. "A" stands for asymmetry. If you fold in half a melanoma in your mind, the two halves will not fit neatly over each other. Moles will. "B" is for border. A melanoma has an irregular border; a mole, a smooth one. "C" is for the color, which in a melanoma is a mixture of tans, brown, blacks and reds. …

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