What You Really Need to Know about Moles and Melanoma

What You Really Need to Know about Moles and Melanoma


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Contrary to popular belief, using sunscreen does not necessarily produce a "safe" tan. In fact, scientific studies show a high rate of melanoma even in people with the greatest sunscreen use. The truth is that most sunscreen provides protection from UVB rays -- the rays that cause the sunburn you see and feel -- but not from the cancer-causing UVA rays that penetrate more deeply into the skin. As the incidence of malignant melanoma increases throughout the world, Drs. Jill R. Schofield and William A. Robinson tell you What You Really Need to Know about Moles and Melanoma.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801863936
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 10/23/2000
Series: A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.84(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jill R. Schofield, M.D., is an internist/hospitalist at St. Joseph Hospital for the Colorado Permanente Medical Group in Denver. She has had a long-standing interest in the development, education, prevention, and early detection of malignant melanoma. William A. Robinson, M.D., Ph.D., is the American Cancer Society Professor of Clinical Oncology at the University of Colorado. He directed the Melanoma Research Clinic at the University of Colorado for many years, and served from 1996 to 1999 as a visiting scientist at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Melbourne.

Table of Contents

Part I.Melanoma: Recognizing and Preventing It
1What Is Malignant Melanoma?3
The Structure of Skin
What Is Cancer?
Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers
2About Pigmented Lesions12
Seborrheic Keratoses
3What Causes Melanoma, and Why Are So Many People Getting It?21
The Multiple Hit Theory
About Invasive Melanoma
The Rising Incidence of Melanoma
What Is Causing This "Epidemic" of Melanoma?
Do Genes Affect a Person's Chances of Developing Melanoma?
4Skin Warning Signs37
The Appearance of a Normal Mole
What to Watch For
Amelanotic Melanoma
Premalignant Lentigos
Who Can Help Monitor Moles?
5What Is Your Risk? The Risk Factors for Melanoma48
Changing Moles
Number of Moles
Atypical Moles
Congenital Moles
Intense, Intermittent Sun Exposure
Prior Severe Sunburns
Melanoma in a Close Relative
Personal History of Melanoma
Skin Type
Hair Color
Suppression of the Immune System
Prior PUVA Treatments to the Skin
Xeroderma Pigmentosa
Atypical Mole Syndrome
6Prevention, Early Detection, and Education64
Simple Preventive Measures That Could Save Your Life
Save the Children
Early Detection
Part II.Melanoma: Diagnosis and Treatment
7Diagnosing and Treating the Primary Lesion77
Removing the Primary Lesion
What the Pathologist Sees
Treating the Primary Lesion
Questions Patients Often Ask
8Staging, Treatment Decisions, Prognosis, and Follow-Up92
Testing and the Limits of Early Diagnosis
Treatment Decisions: What Research Studies Tell Us
Evaluation and Treatment of Regional Lymph Nodes at the Time of Diagnosis
Prognosis and Follow-Up
9Adjuvant Therapy110
Radiation Therapy
Vitamins and Diet
Changes in Lifestyle
10Treating Advanced Melanoma122
More about Metastases
Will Treatment Help?
Treating Regional Lymph Node Recurrence
In Transit Metastases
Treating Systemic Metastases
Surgical Removal of Metastases
The Treatment of Brain Metastases
New and Experimental Treatments
Alternative Treatments
11Managing Pain and the End of Life141
The Physician's Point of View
Taking Care of the Whole Patient
A Look at Hospices
Part III.Melanoma: Less Common Types and Melanoma Research
12Unusual Forms of Melanoma149
Noncutaneous Forms of Melanoma
Less Common Forms of Cutaneous Melanoma
Unusual Populations for Melanoma
13What's New in Melanoma Research?166
Laboratory Research in Melanoma
Clinical Research in Melanoma
Finding Out More
Guide to Resources for People with Cancer183

What People are Saying About This

Marc S. Ernstoff

Patients and families with melanoma will find this book informative and useful as they deal with this illness. The authors do an excellent job of explaining complicated and difficult medical concepts in plain language.

Marc S. Ernstoff, M.D., Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Cente

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What You Really Need to Know about Moles and Melanoma 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If caught in time, curing skin cancer is simple. If not caught soon enough, skin cancer is usually fatal. At the same time, skin cancer's prevalence is rapidly increasing. Within our lifetimes, it may well be the major source of deaths from cancer . . . unless we all become more vigilant. This book will take you to the level of understanding of skin cancer that dermatologists have, but in a way that a nonscientific person can understand. You will benefit from many diagrams and color plates that will help you decide if a mole or abnormality on the skin needs a biopsy to test for cancer. You can use this information to check yourself, your loved ones, and people you see more casually. You may well save a life in the process! This is like learning CPR. Most skin cancer is thought to be caused by occasional overexposure to the sun before age 19. So even if you have been careful since 19, you may still get it. Those who have skin cancer once also have an increased likelihood of a recurrence. There are many misunderstandings about what is needed to be done now, including the thought that using sun block will solve the problem of future risk. That's not true. Most sun blocks only stop the UV B rays. UV A rays (which are found in tanning salons) are also considered a probable cause of DNA mutations in the skin that cause skin cancer. In addition, the damage you experienced with a bad sunburn when you were 16 cannot be undone by care now. 80 percent of lifetime exposure to the sun occurs before age 19 for most people. Some people have a genetic predisposition, and that is explained as well. You will find out a lot about treatments, and the prognosis for recovery, as well as the latest research. I picked up this book because weird growths started appearing on my skin around age 50. I became a frequent visitor to my dermatologist, who happily burned off most of these. But I felt a lot of anxiety until the biopsies told me they were benign. I think this information will help me feel more comfortable with my growths, and better inform me about when I need to go see my outstanding dermatologist, Dr. Peter Bendetson. One of the things you will learn is that the flat moles near the surface are the ones most likely to turn into cancer. So when they start changing in asymmetric, and colorful ways, get thee to the dermatologist. I emphasize that because the book is filled with stories about general practitioners pooh-poohing the significance of skin abnormalities that turned out to be cancer. You cannot tell what a discoloration or growth is for sure without a biopsy. A busy general practitioner may often be unlikely to want to take one and treat you until after you have been shown to have skin cancer. By the way, the problem with skin cancer is that it spreads throughout the body when too deeply established. Once it is past the skin, it becomes hard to stop. Take precautions, watch out, and get early treatment! After you read and apply this outstanding book, I suggest that you think about what other areas of your mental and physical health you need to be monitor and attend to more consistently. Do you eat a healthy diet? Do you drink enough water? Do you get enough exercise? Do you feel good around other people? Do you have loving relationships in your life? Do you have an annual physical examination? Have the quality of life you deserve! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution