Melanomas are categorized into four categories. Three types of melanomas initiate in situ, which means that they affect only the uppermost skin layers and sometimes become invasive.
The fourth type of melanoma is invasive from the beginning. Invasive melanomas are a more serious condition as they have penetrated deeper within the skin and may have spread to other body areas as well.
Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides advanced dermatology treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Central Florida, Florida, and surrounding locations.
Superficial Spreading Melanoma
This form of melanoma is the most common and accounts for nearly 70 percent of all cases. It usually occurs in young people. As the name indicates, this melanoma develops along the upper layer of skin for some time prior to penetrating more deeply.
The initial symptom is the appearance of a flat or slightly elevated discolored patch that has uneven borders and is relatively unsymmetrical in form. The color may vary between black, brown, tan, blue, white, or red.
This form of melanoma can develop in a previously non-cancerous mole or as a new lesion. It can develop in any area of the body but most often occurs on the trunk in males, the legs in females, and the upper back in both genders.
This form of melanoma is similar to the superficial spreading type. It also develops close to the surface of the skin, and typically appears as flat or slightly raised mottled brown, dark brown or tan discoloration.
This type of in-situ melanoma usually develops in the elderly due to chronically sun-exposed, compromised skin on the ears, face, upper trunk, and arms. Lentigo maligna is the most commonly occurring type of cancer in Hawaii. This cancer is known as lentigo maligna melanoma when it becomes invasive.
Acral Lentiginous Melanoma
Acral Lentiginous melanoma also spreads superficially prior to penetrating more deeply. It is distinct from other forms as it typically appears as brown or black discoloration beneath the nails or on the soles of the feet or palms of the hands.
This form of melanoma sometimes develops in dark complexioned people and tends to advance more often than superficial spreading melanoma and lentigo maligna as it is diagnosed at a later stage. It develops most often in Asians and African-Americans and least commonly in Caucasians.
Nodular melanoma is typically invasive when it is initially diagnosed. However, the malignancy is detected when it develops into a bump. It is typically black but can also be gray, blue, brown, red, white, or skin tone.
This type of melanoma usually develops on the legs, arms, and trunk of older adults and the scalp in men. Nodular melanoma is the most aggressive form of the melanomas and is detected in 10 t0 15 percent of cases.
Surgery for Melanoma
The initial step in the treatment of melanoma is excising the primary melanoma tumor. This is usually done by surgical excision, or cutting it out. In the past decade, there have been significant advancements in surgical procedures.
Today much less tissue is eliminated than in the past. Patients usually heal well after the lesser surgery which is easier to tolerate and creates a smaller scar. Surgical excision is also known as resection, and the borders of the entire region excised are called the margins.
Dr. Christopher Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Central Florida, Florida, and nearby areas for advanced skin treatments.
SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.