Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can affect just about any part of the body. It may present itself as a discolored mole, or a mole that has changed in size or shape. Melanoma can also present as sores on the body, or it can present as skin lesions on the body. If you have any of these abnormalities in the skin, you should seek a diagnosis from the dermatologist to check for cancerous cells and to determine if you have melanoma. If you do in fact have melanoma, there are treatment options available. Read on for some of the treatment options for this type of skin cancer.
Surgery is one of the treatment options to clear the body of melanoma cancer. Surgery to scrape away the melanoma spot and remove the cancerous cells may be necessary to remove the surface skin cancer cells and some of the cancerous cells that aren't too deep in the skin. A layer of skin is removed with a scalpel, usually in-office, then the cells are examined. Another scraping is performed to be sure all of the cancerous cells are removed. This can happen over and over again, but the dermatologist may only be able to remove so much of the skin before a more extensive surgical process may need to be performed.
In addition to surgery, chemotherapy may be necessary to remove the cancer from the body. Chemotherapy may be used when the cancer has spread deeper into the body. The amount of chemotherapy will be determined by the dermatologist and depending on how far the cancer has spread.
Radiation may be used to treat melanoma, sometimes in addition to the other treatments mentioned above. This type of treatment can help kill the cancer cells by targeting a specific area of the body, whereas chemotherapy can help kill cancerous cells throughout the entire body. Radiation targets a specific area, wherever you have melanoma skin cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with melanoma, you need to discuss treatment options with a dermatologist. Melanoma can be curable, but it needs to be caught in time. If you suspect you have melanoma, or you notice changes in your moles or other skin abnormalities, be sure to have these examined by a dermatologist. Ignoring these spots can result in the skin cancer worsening and spreading to other parts of the body. Make an appointment today to discuss either your skin abnormalities or melanoma cancer treatment options if you have been diagnosed.