When it comes to skin cancer, there are several myths floating around. Whether it’s people claiming that melanoma is not as dangerous as other types of skin cancer or that you can be more susceptible to the disease if you live in certain parts of the world, it’s essential to separate fact from fiction and learn the truth about this condition.
If you want to know what’s true and false when it comes to melanoma, read on – we’ll discuss 3 common myths about this particular type of skin cancer so that you can stay informed and safe.
An Overview Of Melanoma
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in melanin-producing cells called melanocytes. While it is less common than other types of skin cancer, it is also more deadly if not detected and treated early. Melanoma can develop on any part of the body, even in areas that have never been exposed to the sun.
It often appears as a dark, irregularly shaped mole or spot that changes in size, shape, or colour over time. While genetics play a role in melanoma, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds is the leading cause, which is why it’s recommended to use protective measures, like wearing sunscreen, to avoid the risk of skin cancer.
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3 Common Myths Regarding Melanoma
Melanoma can affect anyone regarding their skin type, colour or type, which is why it’s important to debunk any myths regarding this skin condition, as it can prove to be fatal if left unchecked.
Here are three melanoma myths you need to unlearn:
Myth 1: Only UV Exposure Can Cause Skin Cancer
While exposure to UV rays is the biggest and most researched cause of skin cancer (melanoma), it isn’t the only cause. According to the CDC, various factors can contribute to melanoma, which can include genetics as well.
In addition, certain mole types can also bring in skin cancer, and you can further read this study to know more about them!
Myth 2: There’s Only One Type Of Skin Cancer
Melanoma is regarded as the “most serious skin cancer” because it tends to spread and be fatal, but mind you, it’s not the only type of skin cancer there is.
In truth, there are millions of skin cancer cases every single year, and while it’s hard to keep track of the new variations that are seen in individuals, some other common types of skin cancer include:
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC): The most common type of skin cancer, often develops in people with fair skin
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): Develops in most skin types, and often looks like a sore that heals and opens with time.
Myth 3: Melanoma Is Just A Mole, And It Isn’t THAT Serious
Indeed, melanoma often starts from moles, better-termed melanocytes, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. In fact, doctors recommend using the ABCDE technique to identify any dark spots or moles that might be malignant.
As for its seriousness, we’ve mentioned before that melanoma is the most serious skin cancer type of all, as it tends to spread and become fatal if left unsupervised.
There are a lot of myths involved when it comes to melanoma, and the faster you unlearn these myths, the better you can get at getting professional healthcare for skin cancers like these. Make sure to read the above guide fully, and if you show any signs of skin cancer, contact your healthcare provider ASAP!