Melanoma TreatmentCoral Gables, FL
Although melanoma is not a common type of skin cancer, its ability to spread is dangerous. If you find a suspicious spot or growth on your skin, do not hesitate to seek help. When caught early, melanoma is highly treatable.
Melanoma treatment is available at Dermbar MD in Coral Gables and the surrounding area. Our team can determine the right treatment for your melanoma. Call us today at 305-230-4485 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that occurs when melanocytes, the cells that give skin its tan or brown color, grow uncontrollably. It is more likely to spread to other parts of the body without early treatment than other skin cancers. Melanomas tumors can develop anywhere on the skin and are usually brown or black, but can also appear pink, tan, or white.
Tests to diagnose melanoma include physical exams or a biopsies involving the removal of a tissue sample for testing. If a suspicious skin lesion is present, a lab will examine the tissue sample to determine whether cancer cells are present. If the biopsy comes back positive for melanoma, the next step is diagnosing the stage of melanoma.
The factors that determine the melanoma stage include how much the cancerous cells have grown and whether it has spread. Knowing the melanoma stage is essential since it determines the best treatment plan and chances of recovery. The stages of melanoma are:
- Stage 0: Cancer has not grown outside of the top layer of skin.
- Stage I: There are cancer cells in both the epidermis and dermis, but not in lymph nodes or distant sites.
- Stage II: Tumor thickness and ulceration defines this stage. There are cancer cells in both the epidermis and dermis but they have not spread to lymph nodes or distant sites
- Stage III: Cancer has spread to one or more regional lymph nodes or has developed a deposit of melanoma in the skin along the lymphatics but have not reached distant sites.
- Stage IV: Cancer has spread beyond the original tumor site and regional lymph nodes to more distant areas of the body.
Choosing the Appropriate Treatment Method
The effectiveness of the treatment depends on the melanoma’s size and stage, growth rate, as well as the patient’s medical conditions and preferences. Other factors to consider are the possible treatment side effects and the patient’s overall health. Patients should ask questions and voice any concerns when learning about the various treatment options.
People should also be sure to discuss treatment goals and what they can expect while receiving treatment. Carefully consider the risks and benefits of each treatment option, such as the potential short- and long-term side effects, the likelihood of cancer recurrence, and the effect on the quality of life. Our team will work with each patient to determine the right treatment plan.
Melanoma Treatment Options
Typically, surgery is the first treatment of all melanoma stages. Treatment for early-stage cases may involve removing the melanoma and a border of healthy tissue. Other treatments include chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and targeted therapies. People seeking melanoma treatment should contact us to find out our available treatment options.
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cancer cells. Immunotherapy involves the use of drugs to boost the body's natural defenses to fight cancer. Radiation therapy is beneficial for patients with advanced melanoma and involves high-powered energy beams, such as X-rays and protons, to kill cancer cells. Targeted therapy focuses on specific weaknesses present within cancer cells to eliminate them without harming normal cells.
After Melanoma Treatment
Even after melanoma treatment, it is important to monitor the patient closely. In addition to the risk of melanoma returning, people with melanoma also have a high risk of developing another type of skin cancer.
Follow-up appointments are a good opportunity for patients to talk about any changes they notice or concerns. How often patients will need to have follow-ups will depend on various factors, including the melanoma stage at diagnosis. Patients should contact us as soon as possible if they find a new lump or change in their skin.
Call Us Today
Early detection and diagnosis are crucial aspects of melanoma treatment. Our team at Dermbar MD can help. Call us today at 305-230-4485 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I prevent sun damage?
Excessive sun exposure damages the skin and causes skin cancer. Staying away from the sun is the best way to prevent sun damage. When going outside, take precautions such as using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding sunlight when UV rays are strongest during the middle of the day.
Can I lower my risk of melanoma coming back?
People who have had melanoma are at a higher risk for developing another melanoma or type of skin cancer. It is essential to limit UV ray exposure and examine the skin every month. It is also beneficial to engage in healthy behaviors such as not smoking, eating well, and staying at a healthy weight
What are the side effects of radiation therapy?
Radiation therapy side effects result from damage to healthy cells near the treatment area. Advances in radiation therapy have made it more precise and reduced its side effects. Some common side effects include dry, itchy, peeling skin, hair loss, nausea, fatigue, and muscle stiffness.
What are the side effects of melanoma treatment?
Possible side effects of surgical melanoma treatment include swelling and bruising. Chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy can cause various side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, fatigue, nerve damage, mouth sores, and rashes. People who undergo radiation therapy may experience skin irritation.
Does the thickness of the melanoma matter?
The thickness of a melanoma is called the “T category” in a biopsy. The thinner the melanoma, the better the prognosis. Thicker melanomas have a higher chance of spreading. Melanoma thickness will help determine the best course of treatment.
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