Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adean Kingston is highly trained and experienced in diagnosing and treating melanoma. Known as the most aggressive type of skin cancer, melanoma may be fatal. Malignant (cancerous) melanoma often presents as a new dark growth or as a changing mole. Although it usually manifests as a dark spot, melanoma may have multiple colors or no color at all.
Melanocytes (pigmented cells in the epidermis) may turn malignant when there is damage to the DNA of the cells (usually from the sun or ultraviolet light exposure). You may first see them as a “new” mole or an older mole that has started to change shape or color. Melanomas can be black or brown but are more difficult to spot if they are skin-colored, pink, or white. If you have a suspicious mole or lesion on your skin, remember that early diagnosis and treatment are both very important in saving your life if you have melanoma. Call Adean Kingston, M.D., PLLC in Dallas, Texas to schedule a consult today.
"Dr. Kingston ultimately diagnosed me with melanoma. I felt comfortable immediately when I met her. Her credentials are remarkable. An ingredient necessary for me, especially because of the cancer. Dr. Kingston's mannerisms are comfortingand she takes the time to be thorough. She answers every question thoroughly. Obviously, I had many. I recommend her highly. I see her now every three months and feel confident that I am in the best of hands."- P.H. / ZocDoc / May 02, 2016
Melanomas are known to be caused by genetics and sun exposure. With genetic links, melanoma in a primary relative (parent, sibling, or child) increases your own risk of developing a melanoma malignancy. Your chances increase if you have:
- Blue, green, or gray eyes
- Light colored or red hair
- Had a sunburn in the past (or multiple sunburns)
- Tanned in a tanning bed
- Excessive sun exposure (even if it did not lead to a sunburn)
Also, having moles on the skin can be a risk factor for developing melanoma. Knowing what an atypical mole looks like and what the warning signs are can put you in a greater position to get the treatment you need sooner.
Malignant skin cells can be challenging to recognize, especially if you are not sure what to look for on your skin. Having regular skin cancer screenings by a trained eye, like Dr. Kingston, can be a great resource to keep your skin cancer-free. We educate our patients on the presenting symptoms of melanoma with the ABCDE rules of skin cancer signs. These rules can be invaluable in saving your life:
- A: Asymmetrical mole (one side of the mole is not a mirror image of the other side)
- B: Borders on the mole (a malignant mole will not have a defined, smooth border)
- C: Color (a melanoma may be various colors throughout the mole, black or pinkish (amelanotic) in color.
- D: Diameter (benign moles usually stay small, but malignancies will start to spread out and grow)
- E: Evolving (cancer cells in a malignant mole will keep evolving and changing the appearance of the lesion)
While some moles or freckles may share some of these common characteristics, you should always make an appointment with your dermatologist to have these concerning features checked out.
Treatment for melanoma at Adean Kingston, M.D., PLLC is based on the subtype of the malignancy, staging, size, location, and the depth and extent of the intervention. Once a diagnosis is established, Dr. Kingston will discuss the appropriate treatments for you. If needed, Dr. Kingston works with multiple specialists to assist in your overall melanoma treatment. Additional diagnostic testing may be needed, such as blood work, PET, or CT scan. A lymph node biopsy may also be a part of your treatment.
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Melanoma is one of the most aggressive types of cancer you can develop. Our goal at Adean Kingston, M.D., PLLC is to educate our patients about skin cancer development and what to do when an abnormal spot arises. Not only do we assess for melanomas and skin cancers, but we can also help a patient who would like to reevaluate their current skin care regimen to include better protections with Dr. Kingston-approved sunscreens. If you notice changes in your moles or other skin lesions, please make an appointment at our Dallas, Texas office today.