Melanoma in Birmingham, AL
Estimates suggest that more than 76,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in the U.S. each year. While this form of the disease makes up only about two percent of all skin cancer diagnoses, this type of skin cancer causes the most deaths by far. That’s why early detection and treatment are so important. Dermatologists of Birmingham offers melanoma diagnostic and treatment services for those living in Birmingham, Alabaster, Shelby and Chilton Counties and surrounding areas in Alabama.
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is most common in people who have been overexposed to ultraviolet radiation. Frequently, this exposure comes from the sun. Failing to wear sunscreen or keep the skin otherwise covered while outdoors is the most frequent culprit for this overexposure. However, a growing number of people who use tanning beds are also being diagnosed with this condition. UV rays damage skin cells, and the body isn’t always able to repair all of the damage. Mutations of the cells are triggered by this unrepaired damage, leading to the formation of tumors.
Benefits of Melanoma Screening and Treatment
Because melanoma is sometimes difficult to detect, it’s enormously important that people regularly visit a dermatologist for skin checks.
How Do I Know If I Have Melanoma?
Most melanomas are black or brown, but they are sometimes red, white, purple, blue or the same color as surrounding skin.
If any of your moles have one or more of the following characteristics, it is time to make an appointment for a skin check by a board-certified dermatologist.
A = Asymmetry: Are the halves of a mole different?
B = Borders: Irregular edges that are notched, blurred or ragged.
C = Color: Inconsistent color or pigmentation throughout the mole.
D = Diameter: Larger than a pencil eraser (6mm).
E = Evolution: Is it changing? Changing size, shape, color or if it starts to itch or become sensitive are all warning signs.
What to Expect from a Melanoma Screening and Treatment
Dermatologists make visual inspections of tissue that they suspect is cancerous, then they take a sample in a procedure called a biopsy. The sample is tested, which tells the doctor whether melanoma is present or not. Surgery can often cure most melanomas in the early stages. It may be necessary to perform a wide excision after the results of the biopsy. This approach is often used when the melanoma is relatively thin and is likely to be completely removed without a more involved procedure.
Occasionally, the doctor finds advanced melanoma or tumors on difficult to treat areas such as fingers or toes. Referral to qualified general or plastic surgeons will be best to ensure safe and successful removal. Early detection is the key to avoiding this eventuality, so be certain to schedule regular appointments with your dermatologist.
How Much Does a Melanoma Screening and Treatment Cost in Birmingham?
Melanoma screening and treatment is typically covered by insurance, but you may have some out-of-pocket expenses, such as a co-payment, deductible or co-insurance. We determine the patient responsibility at the time of your consultation, although the final balance is based upon the insurance carrier’s determination. For your convenience, Dermatologists of Birmingham offers several payment options, including cash, checks, major credit cards and financing.
Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, and it is also the rarest. Dermatologists of Birmingham offers diagnostic and treatment services for melanoma to improve health outcomes for those living in the Birmingham, Alabaster, Shelby and Chilton County and surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule a personal consultation.
*Individual results may vary. The content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a qualified physician.