Melanoma is cancer of the skin in its more serious form. The condition has different stages that lead to an advanced state that is potentially fatal. The frustrating aspect of the condition is that it is preventable and treatable if people take the proper precautions and follow up with regular visits to the doctor.
Melanoma may be overlooked because it is associated with common skin conditions, including freckles and moles. Many people fail to recognize that changes in the skin can be telltale signs of cancer. It is critical to recognize melanoma because it can be cured with a 100% success rate if it is treated before it spreads to other areas of the body.
In essence, a person does not die from melanoma, but from the spread of the cancer to other body systems. The cancer is called melanoma because it occurs in cells called melanocytes. The melanocytes are responsible for giving people their coloring in skin, eyes, and hair.
How to Recognize Melanoma
You may have an unattractive mole that has increased in size a bit over the years. This mole should be cause for alarm if it is not symmetrical and if it changes in shape significantly. Flesh colored raises in the skin may also be melanoma in some cases in spite of the fact that most are black or brown in color. Other colors including reds, pinks, purple, and blue may be indicators that a problem exists.
If you look at your mole, and notice that one side is shaped differently than the other or that there is an uneven, bumpy surface, it should be checked by a physician. As a rule of thumb, when it doubt, check it out.
Alternative Treatments for Melanoma
The Cancer Treatment Center of America provides a list of seven alternative treatments for the skin cancer that can complement your medical treatment plan.
• Naturopathic medicine helps to promote the body’s own healing powers through the use of its principals.
• Nutrition therapy is effective in improving overall health through proper nutrition, minerals and vitamins. The healthy habits lead to a healthier body that is better able to recover.
• Pain management is an essential aspect of recovery because it helps patients cope with the discomfort associated with the illness. A patient who is able to manage his pain is more likely to recover from the illness.
• Mind-body medicine promotes overall wellbeing by engaging the mind to help the body. The connection between a person’s outlook and her healthy is strong.
• Spiritual support helps to improve the patient’s faith in recovery. A person who has deep rooted beliefs that he will recover from the illness has a better chance of success.
• Image enhancement is a process closely linked to alternative approaches like hypnosis. The individual uses the power of the imagination to promote feelings of health and wellbeing.
• Oncology rehabilitation addresses everyday aspects of a patient’s life. Helping the individual to improve self-help skills, speech, and relaxation are integral parts of the approach.
Comprehensive treatment for melanoma is the most beneficial. When a person uses the mind and spirit to treat the body, he is more likely to overcome the illness.
June 3rd, 2009
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