Melanoma and Skin Cancer, Brain Cancer, and Bladder Cancer

Melanoma and Skin Cancer

 
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Melanoma is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes. Other names for this cancer include malignant melanoma and cutaneous melanoma. Most melanoma cells still make melanin, so melanoma tumors are usually brown or black. But some melanomas do not make melanin and can appear pint, tan or even white.

Melanomas can develop anywhere int eh skin, but they re more likely to start on the trunk (chest and back) in men and on the legs in women. The neck and face are other common sites.

Having darkly pigmented skin lowers your risk of melanoma at these more common sites, but anyone can get melanoma on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and under the nails. Melanomas in these areas make up a much larger portion of melanomas in African Americans than in whites. Melanomas can also form in other parts of the body such as the eyes, mouth, genitals, and anal area, but these are much less common than melanoma of the skin.

Melanoma is much less common than basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. But melanoma is more dangerous because it’s much more likely to spread to other parts of the body if not caught early.

Basal cell and squamous cell cancers are by far the most common skin cancers, and actually are more common than any other form of cancer. Because they rarely spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body, basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers are usually less concerning and are treated differently from melanoma. For more information on Melanoma and Skin Cancer, click HERE.

(Source: American Cancer Society)

Brain Cancer

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Brain and spinal cord tumors are masses of abnormal cell in the brain or spinal cord that have grown out of control.

In most other part of the body, it is very important to distinguish between benign (non-cancerous) tumors and malignant tumors (cancers). Benign tumors do not grow into nearby tissues or spread to distant areas, so in other part of the body they are almost never life-threatening. One of the main reasons malignant tumors are so dangerous is because they can spread throughout the body.

Although brain tumors rarely spread to the other parts of the body, most them can spread through the brain tissue. Even so-called benign tumors can, as they grow, press on any destroy normal brain tissue, causing damage that is often disabling and sometimes fatal. For this reason, doctors usually speak of brain tumors rather than brain cancers. The main concerns with brain and spinal cord tumors are how readily they spread through the rest of the brain or spinal cord and whether they can be removed and not come back.

Brain and spinal cord tumors tend to be different in adults and children. They often form in different areas, develop from different cell types, and may have different outlook and treatments. For more information on Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Adults, click HERE, for Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Children, click HERE.

(Source: American Cancer Society)

Bladder Cancer

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Bladder cancer starts when cells that make up the urinary bladder start to grow out of control. As more cancer cells develop, they can form a tumor and, with time, spread to other parts of the body.

Urothelial carcinoma, also known as transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), is by far the most common type of bladder cancer. In fact, if you have bladder cancer it’s almost certain to be a urothelial carcinoma. These cancers start in the urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder.

Urothelial cells also line other parts of the urinary tract, such as the part of the kidney that connects to the ureter (called the renal pelvis), the ureters, and the urethra. People with bladder cancer sometimes have tumors in these places, too, so all of the urinary tract needs to be checked for tumors.

Other types of cancer can start in the bladder, but these are all much less common than urothelial (transitional cell) cancer. For more information about Bladder Cancer, click HERE.

(Source: American Cancer Society)