Dermatologists located in Bluefield, Radford and Wytheville, VA and Beckley, Princeton and Oak Hill, WV


Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that is most often associated with sun exposure. While it can be very frightening for patients to learn that they have melanoma, there is hope for effective treatment. At Derm One, with locations in Bluefield, Radford, and Wytheville, Virginia, as well as Beckley, Princeton, and Oak Hills, West Virginia, the team helps patients fight melanoma and prioritize the health of their skin. With early detection, melanoma is one of the most treatable types of cancer. Call the office nearest you today or request an appointment online to learn more. 

What is melanoma?

Melanoma, more technically called malignant melanoma, is the most serious type of skin cancer. It is a rare type of cancer and the cause of the majority of skin cancer deaths. 

The first indicator of melanoma is often a mole that looks abnormal. If you have a mole that grows darker or lighter or changes in size or texture, it's essential to get it checked by your provider at Derm One. 

What causes melanoma?

Melanoma results from an uncontrollable growth of melanocyte cells, which are responsible for creating pigment in the skin. While cancer can occur without an obvious precursor or cause, studies have established a strong correlation between melanocyte expansion and exposure to UV radiation. 

UV radiation causes the DNA inside your skin cells to start mutating, resulting in rapid growth. If you spend a lot of time in the sun or tanning beds, this exposure may prompt rapid melanocyte growth and increase your chances of developing melanoma. 

How is melanoma treated?

The best defense against melanoma is early detection. In addition to frequent skin checks, your Derm One provider will quickly address any suspicious moles. If a mole looks to be melanoma, your provider will conduct a biopsy to be sure. 

The primary treatment for melanoma is removal whenever possible. By thoroughly removing the growth and a small portion of the surrounding tissues, there is a greater chance that the cancerous cells can be fully excised from your body. 

In some instances, melanoma can move into the lymph nodes closest to it. Depending on the progression of your melanoma, these adjacent tissues may need to be mapped and treated. Your provider at Derm One will be with you every step of the way to make the journey as comfortable as possible. 

After successful treatment for melanoma, you must use great caution with sun exposure in the future. The team at Derm One recommends using a high SPF sunblock and wearing protective clothing whenever possible.

 Melanoma can develop in anyone, but it's most common in Caucasians and in males. If you have a suspicious mole or questions about melanoma, contact the Derm One office nearest you today.