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Early detection of melanoma

MelanomaMelanoma is the most malignant form of skin cancer. The tumor develops from melanocytes – the cells that produce skin pigment melanin, which determines our skin color and type.

Melanoma is the most rapidly spreading and the highest mortality causing (compared to the other skin cancers) tumor. Each year the incidence of melanoma is increasing by 7-8%. Considering that there is no efficient treatment of melanoma in the advanced stages, (with melanoma tumor thickness exceeding 4.0 mm, the survival rate in an 8-year period amounts to around 30%), all attention is focused on early diagnosis of melanoma. Only with early detection of melanoma (up to 1.0 mm thick), a patient can expect good treatment results.

The causes of melanoma are unknown. Today we can tell that the following things have impact:

1. UV rays;
2. Family medical case history (melanoma cases among relatives);
3. Multiple moles (more than 50 units);
4. Presence of atypical (abnormal) moles.

Human skin type, eye and hair color also have impact. White-skinned, blue-eyed and fair-haired people are in a higher risk group. Sunburns and sunbathing of children under 10 years without suntan oil also increases the risk of melanoma development.

Melanoma can develop from moles (both - innate and acquired) as well as on the smooth skin when cancerous lesions occur in melanocytes, which are not grouped into moles. In most cases melanoma develops within a few years (1-3 years); nevertheless, there are also aggressive forms of melanoma. In this case, melanoma grows rapidly, reaching the thickness of a few millimeters within 3 months. Aggressive melanoma can be timely detected, provided that a patient pays attention to the growing and changing pigmental formation and consults a dermatologist on time.

In 90% of the cases melanoma is found on the skin, in 8% – on other organs. There are cases (that make up 2%) when primary melanoma tumor is not found and metastases are determined immediately. The suspicion of melanoma is determined after examining a patient.

For visual diagnostics ABCD criteria are used: 

   

A-Asymmetry A-Asymmetry 

   

B-Border IrregularityB-Border Irregularity

   

C-Discoloration C-Discoloration 

   

D-Elevation/Enlarging D-Elevation/Enlarging (Outlet diameter 6 mm and more)

 

However, using only these criteria for melanoma detection in the early stages is not enough. Visual diagnostic accuracy is about 55-80% and is highly subjective mole examination.

Therefore, in the early diagnosis of melanoma there are used another, more reliable information delivering tests, particularly dermatoscopy and SIAscopy. The final test is histological (morphological), which can finally confirm or deny the diagnosis of melanoma.

Thus, we suggest visiting Vilnius Laser Dermatology Center and consult specialists about moles and other skin formations that have changed, or that make you feel anxious about. Modern diagnostic methods will help to accurately establish diagnosis and provide timely treatment.

Our advantages
  • Admission is performed by Viktoras Sidorovas, the Doctor of Medical Science as well as oncology dermatologist who has worked for many years in the Institute of Oncology at Vilnius University and who has done a doctoral thesis defense on The Study on Cutaneous Melanoma Prognostic and Predictive Factors.
  • Aleksandras Mordas – a surgeon, oncologist, medical laser specialist who has thoroughly mastered all the diagnostic and treatment methods and who has been working from 2006. Since 2007 he has been a member of Lithuanian Association of Laser Medicine.
  • We specialize in early skin cancer diagnosis: one of the first in Lithuania (if not the first) who started applying SIAscopy for moles testing and diagnosis of early melanoma. Thousands of patients have already evaluated our center and the quality of the services we provide. They regularly visit our center to receive preventive care.
  • As we apply all of the most common skin cancer treatment methods – we will select the service that will produce the best result!
  • You can contact our centers in Vilnius and Klaipėda.