Melanoma is a type of skin cancer, says Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD, which affects cells in our bodies that are called melanocytes. Under healthy conditions, Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD explains that melanocytes produce the skin pigment melanin, which determines hair and skin coloration. According to Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD, the incidence of melanoma has increased drastically in the past thirty years relative to other cancers. Some risk factors of developing melanoma are family cancer history, a fair complexion, a history of severe sunburn and changes in a pre-existing mole.
According to Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD, melanoma can develop on normal clear skin or it may begin at a mole or birthmark. Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD explains that there are four general types of melanoma. The most common melanoma, says Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD, is “superficial spreading melanoma.” This is usually a flat asymmetric discoloration on the skin with varied shades of brown and black. “Nodular melanoma” begins as a raised bump on the skin with a dark purple or black tint, explains Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD, though some nodular melanomas are not discolored at all. The third type is “lentigo maligna melanoma,” says Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD, which most commonly manifests in the elderly, particularly on sun-damaged arms, necks and faces. The fourth and rarest type of melanoma is “acral lentigenous melanoma.” This melanoma usually happens on the palms or soles of the feet, as well as under finger and toenails, notes Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD.
Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD is a Tennessee Board Certified Oncologist and Internist who has dedicated his profession to fighting cancer and promoting wellness. After an academic life punctuated by successes at Duke, Vanderbilt and London University, Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD settled in Middle Tennessee to pursue a passion to heal and help those less fortunate. Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD and his wife are dedicated to their local community, volunteering with local ministries and non-profits to aid the homeless and others less fortunate than them. Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD has also volunteered abroad on medial relief trips to Haiti, which have become more important than ever since the earthquake of January 2010. Dr. Jerry Michael Foster MD is also an avid American history buff and collector of Civil War memorabilia.