While skin cancer is a distressing subject, there is no need to worry. Between 2009 and 2013, the survival rate of those diagnosed with melanoma was 90 %, much higher compared to their general Australian counterparts. What this means is in that period, even if you had skin cancer, your chances of survival were better than those Australians who didn’t have this disease. And that’s not all, the 5-year survival rate of people diagnosed with melanoma improved from 86% to 90 % in 1984-1988 through 2009-2013.

This statistic, specific to Australia, proves that you can still survive the more deadly melanoma. Please understand that the figures mentioned above are five year-survival rates accurate to those diagnosed with Melanoma, and these stats do not hold for other skin cancer variants.

Another study says that the survival rate for Melanoma stages 0,1, and 2 are 98.4%. This is quite an encouraging statistic. This rate goes down to 63.4% for Stage 3 and 22% for Stage 4.

Please note that melanoma is the most dangerous skin cancer. If not detected early, it can kill the patient. Research says that the 5-year mortality rate for Merkel carcinoma is 78 % ( Stages 0,1 and 2), 51% for Stage 3 and just 18% for Stage 4. Yet again, this study proves that early detection of Merkel carcinoma is the key to high survival rate.

Merkel cell carcinoma is rare and occurs largely in people older than 50 years. This cancer occurs in the top layers of the skin near the nerve endings. If not diagnosed early, this cancer can spread to the brain, lungs, liver, etc.

If you presume that you or someone you know has a higher risk of developing skin cancer, please click website to book an appointment with a cancer specialist. The earlier you meet your doctor, the better it is.

The least harmful skin cancer types are basal and squamous cell carcinomas. According to the reputed institution, the survival rate in these cancers is 100%. For Squamous carcinoma, the 5-year survival rate is 95%. Going by the above statistics, it is easy to see that Melanoma and Merkel Cell Carcinoma are the most harmful skin cancers. If we can detect these cancers well in time, we can hope to live longer.

Let’s look at some of the common symptoms of Melanoma. These are;

This disease occurs in the melanocytes, or the skin pigments and their most prominent symptom comes as a black or brown bump or spot. This bump can have irregular borders and is usually larger than a mole. A Melanoma bump or spot can have shades of different colours like red, purple or blue.

Melanoma can develop in one of the following areas;

Chest

Soles of the feet

Underneath the nails

Back

Neck

Legs

Merkel cell carcinoma shows as a flesh coloured nodule that can be red, blue or purple in colour. This nodule may even bleed. Skin cancers typically occur in certain high-risk groups. These are;

  • If you have white skin, light hair and blue eyes

  • Over-exposure to sun

  • High usage of tanning beds

  • Previous history of skin cancer

  • Reduced immunity

  • People living in sunny areas

  • People living in high altitudes

One or more risk factors like mentioned above can cause skin cancer. Melanoma is more prevalent in people who are above 50 years, so if you fall under this category, and belong to the risk as mentioned above groups, please consult a doctor.

Even if you are diagnosed with Melanoma, Merkel Cell carcinoma or other skin cancer variants, please don’t worry. These days, oncologists and dermatologists use several treatments to bring cancer’s adversaries under control. Some of these treatments, like radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and Mohs Surgery, have been found to be extremely effective in treating this disease.

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