When you’re pregnant, you have a lot of things to worry about—your health, the health of your baby and the delivery process. But did you know that you also need to be concerned about melanoma? Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can occur during pregnancy. In this article, we will discuss the risks associated with melanoma during pregnancy and offer some tips on how to cope with this condition.
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can develop during pregnancy, especially for women between 20 and 40. It typically appears as a dark or black mole on the skin. Melanoma can spread quickly and is the most severe type of skin cancer. It most often occurs in the back or shoulder area. It can also develop on the neck or other spots.
What are the Risks of Melanoma during Pregnancy?
There are several risks associated with melanoma during pregnancy.
- Pregnant women have a higher risk of developing melanoma. This is because the hormone levels in their bodies increase melanin production, which is the pigment that gives skin its color. Melanin also makes the skin more sensitive to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- Pregnant women are more likely to develop cancer on their face, neck and chest when exposed to the sun.
- Pregnant women have a higher risk of melanoma spreading to other parts of their bodies.
- If a pregnant woman is diagnosed with melanoma, she is more likely to be in a more advanced stage than if she were not pregnant.
What are the Consequences of Melanoma during Pregnancy?
The consequences of melanoma during pregnancy can be serious for both the mother and the baby. It can spread to other parts of the body, including the liver, lungs and brain. This can lead to serious health problems for the mother. If the cancer is in a more advanced stage when it is diagnosed, the mother may need to have surgery to remove the cancer. This can cause complications such as bleeding and infection.
The consequences for the baby can be just as serious. Cancer can spread to the placenta, which is the organ that provides nourishment to the baby. This can cause the baby to be born prematurely or have a low birth weight. In some cases, cancer can also spread to the baby’s liver, lungs and brain.
If melanoma spreads to the baby’s germ cells, it can lead to genetic problems that can prove difficult to treat. It can also increase the risk for other types of cancer to develop later in life, such as breast cancer and cancer of the uterus. Also, if the melanoma is widespread, it can become a challenge for surgeons to remove all of the affected areas.
Ways to Cope with Melanoma during Pregnancy
There are several ways in which expectant mothers can fight melanoma during pregnancy. Some ways to cope with the condition include:
Pregnant women need to seek the advice of a physician early in their pregnancy. If the physician detects melanoma, it allows them to provide early treatment to expectant mothers before the disease progresses and spreads throughout the body. It would help if you also talked with your doctor about your physical and mental health. Tell them about any medications or substances you are using, especially if you are using alcohol or other substances that may increase the risk of skin cancer.
Ultrasound scanning allows the physician to see if the melanoma has metastasized and determine the proper treatment. If this type of cancer is found in the uterus, a woman can consider a hysterectomy or removing the uterus to prevent the removal of surrounding tissue.
UV rays from sunlight can damage your skin and make it more susceptible to cancer, especially if you are already at risk. The sun’s UV rays cause DNA mutations and these mutations can lead to cancerous cells appearing on your skin. Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight when you are pregnant, as it will add extra stressors to your own body and put undue stress on your baby’s developing system. If you are exposed to light from the sun, use sunscreen with a high level of protection from UV rays. You should also wear protective clothing, such as a hat and a long-sleeved shirt. Also, you should have your doctor check your skin regularly for any abnormalities.
These beds use artificial lighting to stimulate your skin. Melanoma is connected to ultraviolet radiation, so going into the tanning beds can cause more skin damage. Tanning beds increase the possibility of the disease spreading to other body parts. If you do get into the tanning bed, do not stay there for too long so as to avoid overexposure to UV radiation.
Vitamin D is necessary for your body to absorb calcium, and this process is disrupted during pregnancy. It is essential to ensure that you get enough vitamin D, especially when pregnant. Taking supplements, eating foods high in vitamin D and getting regular, but protected, sun exposure help to reduce these conditions. If a woman does not have adequate vitamin D levels when she becomes pregnant, her baby may also not have adequate levels when they are born.
At an early stage of pregnancy, women who have been diagnosed with melanoma should be checked more frequently than usual and their skin examined every week. In addition to a physical examination, they should discuss with physicians the possibility of preventing further development of melanoma by taking measures such as sun protection and reducing exposure to ultraviolet rays.