Dermatologists located in Arlington Heights, IL & Bloomingdale, IL
Over 175,000 new cases of melanoma are going to be diagnosed in 2018, the Skin Cancer Foundation reports. With extensive background in diagnosing and treating melanoma, the doctors of Midwest Dermatology, are leaders in melanoma care. They offer routine skin checks and advanced melanoma treatments in the Arlington Heights and Bloomingdale, Illinois clinics. You can book your skin evaluation by using the online scheduling system or by calling the clinic.
Melanoma Q & A
What is melanoma?
Melanoma is the most severe form of skin cancer, causing about one death every hour. This potentially deadly disease develops in specialized cells called melanocytes, which produce the pigment in your skin.
Typically, skin cells grow and shed in an orderly fashion. Melanoma occurs when melanocytes don’t shed; they just keep stacking up on top of each other.
While the exact cause of melanoma isn’t well understood, medical experts believe that exposing your skin to ultraviolet radiation, either from sunlight or tanning lamps, drastically increases your risk. You may also have a higher chance of developing melanoma because of your genetics.
Are there signs of melanoma?
Yes. Melanoma can form anywhere on your body, so it’s important to check your skin regularly and watch for changes in moles and freckles, especially in areas that get frequent sun exposure. Warning signs that your mole or freckle could be melanoma include:
- Asymmetrical shape
- Border irregularities
- Changes in color
- Diameter larger than one-quarter inch
- Evolving color, size, or shape
Using the acronym A-B-C-D-E can help you know what to watch for when checking your skin. The sooner you catch an abnormal mole and have it treated, the higher your chances of a full recovery.
How is melanoma treated?
If your cancer hasn’t spread beyond your skin, melanoma is typically treated with surgery.
While other surgeries are available, the most effective is Mohs surgery. Because Dr. Bangash is a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon, you can feel confident that he is going to treat any abnormalities you have thoroughly.
During Mohs surgery for melanoma removal, Dr. Bangash numbs your treatment area and precisely removes a layer of affected tissue. He biopsies it on the spot and then continues to remove cancerous tissue layer by layer until the melanoma is gone.
Other surgical procedures include:
- Wide excision surgery, in which both cancerous cells and a small portion of healthy skin are removed
- Amputation, in which a finger or toe is removed if the cancer has spread too deeply
- Lymph node dissection, in which your lymph nodes — a grouping of cells that helps your body battle infections — are examined and, if needed, removed.
In severe cases when cancer spreads, you might need chemotherapy or radiation therapy to destroy the cells.
Can melanoma come back?
Dr. Bangash is extremely thorough when it comes to removing all melanoma cells. But even after successful removal and essential treatments — like lymph node removal — it’s still possible melanoma can come back.
That's why it’s so important to wear sunscreen daily and stay in the shade as much as possible while outdoors. Reducing your exposure to ultraviolet rays is the best way to minimize your risk of future issues.
Book your appointment for melanoma screening or treatment at Midwest Dermatology in Arlington Heights and Bloomingdale, Indiana, either online or over the phone.