Is Melanoma a Fatal Disease? What Is the Survival Rate of Melanoma?

Is Melanoma a Fatal Disease? What Is the Survival Rate of Melanoma?

Melanoma is defined as a cancer of the skin where skin cells or melanocytes, which usually function in an orderly and controlled manner, undergo a change in their DNA and start growing out of control. They form a mass of cells, leading to skin cancer or melanoma.

Melanoma is a common form of cancer, being the most common form of cancer in the United States of America among men and women alike. Melanoma is usually not a fatal disease unless it escalates and penetrates other parts of the body.

Statistics reveal that melanoma is generally seen more often in women than in men, especially in the age group of people in their 50s. However, as the age of the group increases, the number of male patients is found to be higher than female patients. In fact, by the age of 65, the number of men likely to be suffering from melanoma is two times more, and in the age group of people above 80 years of age, men are three times more likely to be suffering from melanoma than women.

Is Melanoma Fatal?

Fortunately, in most cases, if detected early, melanoma is not fatal and can be treated and cured completely. The diagnosis is also easier to make once the symptoms are visible; thus, early diagnosis can help provide early treatment. However, if not detected in time, melanoma advances and can spread to other parts of the body, where it can be challenging to treat, and in such situations, it can be fatal.

Importance of Early Detection

Detecting melanoma early can make a significant difference in your treatment. It often appears as a new or changing mole on your skin, but there are a range of symptoms that you should be aware of. Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body, including areas not exposed to the sun, such as the soles of the feet or under the nails.

Warning Signs of Melanoma

Before you can get the necessary treatments, you need to know there is a problem in the first place. Here are some key warning signs of melanoma to keep in mind:

  • Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • Border irregularity: The mole’s edges are ragged, notched, or blurred.
  • Color variations: The mole has different colors, like black, brown, tan, red, white, or blue.
  • Diameter: The mole’s diameter is larger than a pencil’s eraser (about 1/4 inch or 6mm).
  • Evolving: The mole changes in size, shape, or color over time.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider as soon as possible for further assessment. Early detection is critical in treating melanoma effectively.

Survival Rates of Melanoma

The survival rate for any disease gives an idea of the percentage or number of people suffering from the same disease who are at the same stage and are likely to survive within a given time frame. When the survival rate is calculated over time, it is termed a relative survival rate.

So, in the case of a specific case of melanoma, for example, the relative survival rate for five years is 90 percent, which means that at that stage of the disease, people who have that particular melanoma have a 90 percent chance of surviving as compared to those who do not have the disease (once the cancer has been detected).

For melanoma, the survival rate varies according to the stage of the disease, such as localized (where the cancer is only present in the place it was found and has not spread), regional (the cancer has spread from the skin, where it was found, to nearby lymph nodes or structures), and distant (where the cancer has spread to distant organs of the body, such as liver, lungs, or skin that is distant from the place of origin).

Thus, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma at a:

  • The localized stage of melanoma is 98 percent
  • The regional stage of melanoma is 64 percent
  • Distant stage of melanoma is 23 percent
  • However, these numbers are over time, and advances in treatment options can improve the survival rate at all stages.

Get Personalized Melanoma Diagnosis and Treatment in the Nirvana Healthcare Network

Choosing the Nirvana Healthcare Network for your melanoma diagnosis and treatment can make a significant difference in your journey toward recovery. Our network is renowned for its state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, highly skilled medical professionals, and personalized care plans. Every patient’s situation is unique, so we tailor our approach to suit your needs.

You can receive personalized treatment and care throughout our network, including our practices, Salerno Medical Associates, Metropolitan Medical Group, Roseville Medical Society, and North Ward Medical Arts. Contact our teams and schedule your next appointment today.