Treatment options for melanoma depends on several factors, including the stage of the cancer and the age of the person affected. The most common treatment for melanoma is surgical removal of the mole or growth and, in some cases, some of the surrounding tissue. This is almost always successful if the melanoma is caught early. If the diagnosis is not made until after the melanoma has spread, it may require more intensive treatment. Chemotherapy uses chemicals given orally or intravenously to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy, which involves killing cancer cells with X-ray radiation, may also be used to treat melanoma. There are also several different types of clinical trials, which are treatments that have not been approved by the government, which may be used to treat melanoma. Talk to your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.
A Answers (3)
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Celeste Robb-Nicholson, Internal Medicine, answeredTo treat melanoma, the mole and a margin of healthy tissue are removed. A procedure called sentinel node biopsy may determine if the lymph node nearest the tumor contains any cancer cells. If it does, additional lymph nodes will be removed in the same procedure. In addition to surgery, standard treatments for melanoma include chemotherapy, radiation, and biological therapy, which strengthen the immune system against the cancer. For reasons still not understood, chemotherapy generally helps only a small number of people with melanoma, and there is no standard treatment regimen. Melanoma survival rates are 95% or higher if the tumor is less than 1 mm thick. But beyond 4 mm in thickness, the cure rate drops to 45%. As with most other forms of cancer, if the tumor has spread to distant organs, overall survival is lower, about 18%.
Surgery is the mainstay of the treatment for melanoma. Radiation has a limited role in the treatment for early- or intermediate-stage melanoma. Occasionally, radiation is used to treat advanced or metastatic melanoma. Chemotherapy is used for more advanced melanoma.