Former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres recently shared scary news with her fans on Instagram: she's being treated for melanoma the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Torres spoke about the Spanish message ] but also wrote about her experiences in English in the video caption . "I've got some sad news today … I've been diagnosed with a large spot / mole by skin cancer called" melanoma. "Although it was new, it had grown for years and had an uneven surface." she wrote. Torres wrote that her fiance had "begged me to have it checked," and eventually even arranged an appointment with the doctor. She had biopsied the site and last week had a second surgery. "The results are unfortunately positive," she said. "Now we are waiting for the treatment I will receive, but they have already removed a large area from my knee, and they have also removed 2 lymph nodes on my leg where they had already spread to other areas or organs. "
Torres said she had no idea that skin cancer could spread to another location in her body, and urged others to have something unusual on her body examined.
The melanoma may appear on your body in various ways Body.
It could be a change in a mole you've had for a while, a new spot or stain on your skin, a spot that looks like a changing freckle or a age spot, a dark streak under your fingernail or the toenail or a slow-growing patch of thick skin that looks like a scale, according to the American Academy of Dermatolo gy (19459019) (AAD). For most people, the only sign of melanoma is a change in the skin, but melanomas can also cause itching, pain and bleeding, says the AAD.
"New jobs are particularly worrying" Gary Goldenberg MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, says SELF. "Although many new growths are benign, some may be atypical and even carcinogenic."
Therefore, the AAD recommends that people perform regular skin checks to look for ABCDEs of the melanoma. These include:
- An odd border
- A variety of colors in moles (19659015) A diameters greater than the size of a pencil Eraser
- A Mole that Grows in Size
If you have a suspicious-looking stain on your skin, your doctor should do an exam to take a closer look. This is usually a device called a dermoscope, which radiates and magnifies light on the skin, says the AAD . If they feel the spot may be a melanoma, they will take a biopsy (removing all or part of the spot) and send it to a laboratory for examination.
The treatment there depends on your lab results, says Goldenberg. However, if you have melanoma you will probably be referred to a surgical oncologist.
The melanoma can be treated, but it can spread to other parts of your body if left untreated.
If the melanoma does not occur low and the biopsy shows that it is restricted to the skin (ie stage zero, I or II). Your doctor should be able to do this by surgical removal, says Drs. Goldberg. However, if it is stage III or IV, it has spread to a nearby lymph node, skin, or internal organ, says the AAD of 1945952
. When the melanoma spreads, it usually goes to the nearest lymph node first. the AAD says. If you have an increased risk of your melanoma spreading (eg, deep, splintered cells or broken wounds), your doctor may recommend an operation called sentinel lymph node biopsy . that can show if the melanoma has spread there or not. This procedure involves injecting blue dye or a radioactive solution (or both) in the vicinity of the site and then removing the sentinel nodes (the first lymph nodes that normally spread cancer ) while you under general anesthesia.  Once the melanoma has reached your bloodstream (the next step after it has penetrated your lymph nodes), it can go anywhere, Dr. Sapna Patel, Associate Professor, Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas SELF. "Melanoma does not discriminate where it can spread," she says. "We found it in the lungs, in the liver, in the kidneys, in the heart, in the brain, and in the eyeballs." Imaging tests such as X-rays and CT scans can tell your doctor where the melanoma has spread beyond the lymph nodes, says the AAD.
If your melanoma has spread, you will be referred to an oncologist for treatment. This may include a biological therapy (which supports your immune system) or a targeted therapy (in which certain weak spots in cancer cells are controlled by drugs), says the Mayo Clinic . Your doctor may also recommend radiotherapy to attack specific areas of your body or chemotherapy says the Mayo Clinic. However, Patel says that biological and targeted therapies have become the most popular therapies for melanoma in recent years.
Overall, experts emphasize that melanomas are serious, so you should not write off any suspicious spots. "Melanoma is the most aggressive solid cancer, millimeter by millimeter," Dr. Patel. "It is very important that you have your skin examined regularly."