Melanoma questions(lots of questions)

Coming from Irish and Scotish backgrounds, my family has a long history of skin cancers (My father has had fourteen melonamas, none that were caught too late). I was just thinking about how he always says that melonoma is one of the deadliest cancers, and thinking “what makes it so deadly?”

When does the cancer go from curable to terminable. For instance, what happens in the body to make the cancer beyond cure? Is it that the cells get in the blood stream and spread all over the body?

How does this feel? How would one notice it if they failed to see the external signs? How long does one usually have to live if they have made it to the point where they can feel it? What sort of medical procedures are done?

Do certain cancers kill faster than others? Are there people that live for a long time with cancers that are incurable?

Speaking from experience. Happy outcome.

If your father had fourteen malanomas which were all caught at an early stage, he must either recognize an early lesion or be regularly examined by a good dermatologist.

Examine yourself regularly. Have someone else examine the areas you cannot see. See a dermatologist regularly. If you have many moles, have them photographed or mapped.

The single most important factor in staging melanoma, and therefore in determining the prognosis, is Breslow thickness, which is the actual cross-sectional thickness of the tumor. Amazingly, the difference between a 97% survival rate and 20% is only 2-3 mm.

The Web has tons of melanoma resources. Many are very useful.