The traits of fast growing, melanomas, a type of fatal skin cancer have been pinpointed by experts. When a skin tumour , identified to be cancerous is proportionate, and is raised with regular borders, and other associated symptoms, it's more likely to develop into a potentially fatal skin cancer. This was reported by Australian researchers in East Melbourne.
Melanomas that grow rapidly can be deadly, opined the lead researcher Dr. Wendy Liu, of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center.
Melanomas may develop in anybody. However, those who have a large number of freckles and moles and older men are likely to develop melanoma. They are very often reddish tinged, raised, symmetrical, and associated with other related symptoms explained Dr.Liu .
About 404 patients with invasive melanomas were studied by Dr. Liu and her colleagues. The rate of growth of the melanoma was examined, in various patients. Patients, soon after they were diagnosed with melanomas were interviewed and an extensive skin examinations were conducted. Care givers and family members were also interviewed to find out whether any mole was noticed at the onset of illness ,that developed in size or changed colour.
Data inclusive of demographics, risk factors associated with skin cancer, and the features of the tumor were documented. This information helped the researchers to gauge the growth rate of the tumour.Rapid growth of tumours were noted with thicker tumours, with even, elevated borders , with little or no pigmentation, along with associated sores and ulcers.
The researchers noticed that a third of all the melanomas grew only about 0.1 millimeters every month, another third grew almost 0.1 millimeter -0.49 millimeters each month, and about one-third grew over 0.5 millimeters in size per month.
Melanomas that grew swiftly were often found in people above the age of 70 and among older men, and among those with lesser moles and freckles, reported the researchers.
Atypical moles and history of damage to skin, family history or eye colour did not seem to affect the growth rate of melanomas.
The researchers emphasized that it is imperative to inform the public about the potential fatality of the less common but aggressive type of skin cancer. All health professionals should keep themselves well informed about this type of cancer. Any skin lesion that is rapidly growing deserves immediate medical attention.
The December issue of the Archives of Dermatology has published the findings of this research.