What Treatments Are Used For Melanoma?

Posted on: 10 February 2020

Melanoma is a type of cancer that begins in the melanocytes which are the pigment cells of the skin. This type of skin cancer occurs more commonly to those who have fair skin. It is often caused by excessive exposure to the sun or artificial UV rays in tanning beds or booths. However, melanoma can occur due to a weakened immune system as well. These are the types of treatment used for melanoma.


If melanoma is caught in the early stages, it is most likely found on the top layers of the skin. First, the area of skin that is cancerous will be surgically removed. Normally, the surgeon will cut a slightly larger area all around the cancerous area to ensure that no cancer is left to remain on the skin. This will be sent to a lab to be studied to determine if all of the cancer has been removed. If no cancer cells are found in the outer sections of the removed skin, it is very likely that all the cancer was removed. If cancer is still visible, the surgeon will need to go back and remove more of the skin to get the remaining cancer.

Radiation Therapy 

If the melanoma is in the deeper layers of the skin, it is common for radiation therapy to be used to remove it. This allows the oncologist the ability to reach the cancerous skin and treat it to kill the cancer, without having to make a large deep cut in the patient's skin to remove it. In some cases, the oncologist may use a combination of radiation and surgery to remove the melanoma depending on exactly where and how deep the cancerous skin is located.


Chemotherapy is another method that is used to treat melanoma. This is often used in the later stages of melanoma that may have spread into the lymph nodes. This is done by giving the patient several treatments of chemicals that will kill the melanoma through IV therapy. While the treatments may cause unpleasant side effects for the patient, it can be a very successful way to kill cancerous melanoma cells from the inside out.

If diagnosed early, melanoma can be treated. Although, if left untreated, melanoma is more likely to spread to the lymph nodes and other areas of the skin. In women, melanoma often occurs on the skin of the lower legs and hips or in between the shoulders. Men commonly have melanoma on the top of the head, neck, between the shoulders and on the hips. 

To learn more about melanoma cancer treatment, reach out to a medical professional near you. 


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