Skin Cancer - Melanoma Treatment
Melanomas that are small, shallow, detected early, and treated early have very good cure rates with surgery. The goal of treatment is to remove all of the cancer cells. There are several types of removal methods. The treatment that you receive depends on the size, location, and stage of your cancer.
A simple excision is a method that cuts out the tumor and a radius of healthy cells around it. The incision is stitched back together. A specialized technique, Mohs micrographically controlled surgery, is used to treat large skin cancers or skin cancers that have come back. For Mohs surgery, the doctor removes a layer of skin containing the cancerous melanoma cells and examines it under a microscope right away. The process is repeated until the skin samples are found to be free of cancer cells. The advantages of Mohs surgery are that only the minimum amount of tissue necessary is removed and the specimens are carefully examined. Mohs surgery is associated with high cure rates.
Skin grafting and reconstructive surgery may be necessary after the removal of large melanomas. Scarring after skin cancer removal is common. Cosmetic surgery techniques can improve the appearance of scars after the initial surgery. Some people choose to cover their scars with make-up.
If your cancer has spread, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy treatments may be necessary to treat the metastasized cancer or relieve symptoms. The deeper the melanoma, the greater the risk that it will return. The five year survival rates are the best for small superficial melanomas with early detection and treatment.
Skin Cancer - Melanoma Treatment from SecondOpinions.com (Dermatology, Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Oncology)
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