Updated: Jan 1
Melanocytes, the skin's pigment-producing cells, are the source of melanoma, a specific type of skin cancer. It is one of the most aggressive types of skin cancer and, if untreated, can quickly spread to other body parts.
The best course of action will depend on the stage and location of the cancer, the patient's general health, and the available melanoma treatment options. Here, we'll go over the different melanoma treatment options, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Melanoma treatment can be complicated, so it's crucial to collaborate with a group of specialists to ensure the best results. To choose the best course of action, it is crucial to discuss all treatment options with a specialist physician.
Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for melanoma and is typically the first line of treatment. To ensure that all cancer cells have been eliminated, surgery aims to remove the cancerous tumor and a small margin of healthy tissue around it.
Melanoma can be treated surgically with a variety of techniques, including a margin of healthy tissue around the cancerous tumor is also removed during a wide local excision. Depending on the cancer's stage, the margin's size will vary. To remove the affected lymph nodes if the cancer has spread to them, this procedure is sometimes required. This may lessen the likelihood of the cancer spreading.
Amputation: To remove the affected limb and stop the cancer from spreading when melanoma is found on a limb and has already spread widely, an amputation may be required.
Radiation Therapy: High-energy radiation beams are used in radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells and reduce tumor size. It can be used as a stand-alone treatment for melanoma that has spread to other body parts or as a post-operative procedure to eradicate any cancer cells that may still be present.
Melanoma that has spread to other body parts or cannot be surgically removed can be treated with chemotherapy. It entails the administration of medications to eradicate cancer cells or prevent their division and spread. Chemotherapy can be administered alone or in conjunction with other procedures like surgery or radiation therapy.
Treatments like immunotherapy support the immune system's ability to combat cancer cells. It can be used to treat melanoma that cannot be surgically removed or that has spread to other parts of the body. Drugs used in immunotherapy come in a variety of forms, including checkpoint inhibitors and cancer vaccines.
An approach to treating cancer that targets particular genes or proteins that are involved in the development and spread of cancer cells is known as targeted therapy. It can be used to treat melanoma that cannot be surgically removed or that has spread to other parts of the body. Drugs for targeted therapy come in a variety of forms, including BRAF and MEK inhibitors.
Melanoma patients may choose to take part in a clinical trial if their standard treatment options are ineffective. Clinical trials are research projects that evaluate the safety and efficacy of novel treatments or treatment modalities in combination. By taking part in a clinical trial, patients may gain access to therapies that aren't yet widely used and may advance the field of cancer treatment.