Melanoma Myths: Part II

As Dr. Bailey explained in Melanoma Myths: Part I, the extensive information accessible to the public about melanoma makes it difficult for some to separate the facts from fiction. As a fellowship-trained skin cancer and reconstructive surgeon and an elected member of the American College of Mohs Surgery, Dr. Bailey hopes to dispel some common myths about melanoma, and explain more about the diagnosis and treatment of this cancer.  The video below featuring the removal of melanoma from a spot between a person’s toes dismisses two common myths about melanoma.

Melanoma Myth #3: “Melanoma only develops on sun-exposed skin.”

One misconception about melanoma is that melanoma only develops on sun-exposed surfaces of the body. The patient in the video below has melanoma between their toes. It is actually common to develop skin cancers along the soles of your feet and on your toes. Therefore, it is important to make sure your dermatologist is checking for spots on all skin surfaces, whether the area is exposed to the sun or not.

Dr. Bailey explains the ABCDs of melanoma.

The “ABCDs” of melanoma refer to the common features of pigmented areas—Asymmetry, Border irregularity, multiple Colors and Distinct lesion or large Diameter. The melanoma featured in the video below has these hallmark features. The melanoma is flat and dark-colored. Consequently, it is smart to be aware of any irregular skin spots and let your dermatologist examine them.

To treat this melanoma, Dr. Bailey first performed an excision with a minimal safety margin as a first step.  Next, we will test the piece of tissue to determine the depth of melanoma, and the results will guide our next step.  This is called a staging excision and is used for larger melanomas.

Check out Melanoma Myth #1 and stay tuned for more!