|Life Expectancy Of Metastatic Malignant Melanoma
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It is capable of killing in weeks if it is rapidly growing. It is usually associated with the formation of moles, but is very difficult to predict as just about anybody can have the disease; although almost 10 percent of patients are those who have a history of the disease in their family.
The disease melanoma is nothing but cancerous growth of the melanocytes in the skin; although these cells may also be found in the bowel and in the eye. These cells are responsible for the production of the dark pigment melanin. Even though melanoma is not a very common type of skin cancer, it can be fatal and is responsible for 75 percent of skin cancer caused deaths. Statistics say that every year, around 16,000 new cases of melanoma are reported in the US. This is also more frequent in males and in Caucasians who live in sunny climates. According to the WHO, there are 48,000 melanoma related deaths worldwide every year.
When the melanoma becomes malignant, it along with surrounding area needs to be excised. Melanoma becomes dangerous when they spread to the lymph nodes. Detecting metastatic malignant tumors is also tricky. Micrometastases may be determined by special staining but the prognosis is better when done by Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR. If the melanoma is one of distant metastasis, it is generally considered incurable. Less than 10 percent of patients can survive for as long as five years. Most are able to pull through only for 6-10 months.
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