Estimates suggest that more than 76,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in the U.S. each year. While is far less common than other skin cancers, it 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 and surrounding areas in Alabama.
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a cancerous growth of pigment producing skin cells normally found across you skin. Genetics and ultraviolet light exposure from the sun or tanning beds predisposes these cells to potentially turn into melanoma. Most melanomas start in the skin but can rarely develop in the eyes and mucous membranes. Melanoma becomes dangerous if it spreads to other areas of the body. Removing melanoma in early stages is either curable or provides a great prognosis.
Benefits of Melanoma Screening and Treatment
Because melanoma is sometimes difficult to detect, it’s enormously important that people learn the ABCDs of melanoma and pay attention to their moles for changes. If you have any concerns, our board certified dermatologists offer full body skin exams and targeted lesion evaluation to detect melanomas as early as possible and remove them to prevent spread.
How Do I Know If I Have Melanoma?
Most melanomas are black or brown, but they are sometimes other colors 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. In office excision is used when the melanoma is in an early stage or relatively thin.
Occasionally, the doctor finds advanced melanoma or tumors on difficult to treat areas such as fingers or toes. Referral to qualified 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 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.