Once cancer has been detected, biopsied and categorized by stage your team of specialists in dermatology, surgery, medical and radiation oncology, radiology and pathology will work together to plan the best course of treatment for your melanoma.
This will include formulating a coordinated plan of personalized treatment consistent with the highest standards of care. Your treatment will be tailored to the stage of melanoma you have, and may include a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and the use of drugs known as biological agents.
A very small melanoma may be entirely removed during the biopsy. More often, surgery to remove the melanoma will be performed. Your WellStar surgeon also may remove a small amount of skin underlying the melanoma. If the melanoma has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or other tissue, this may be all the treatment that is required.
If the melanoma has spread to nearby lymph nodes, surgery must be more involved, as the affected lymph nodes will have to be removed.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs given by mouth or injection to destroy cancer cells. It can be used to assist in the treatment of melanoma or to prolong life or the quality of life.
Chemotherapy is typically used for melanoma patients whose cancer has spread to other sites.
Other options for treatment include immune modulators such as interferon or newer targeted therapies such as BRAF inhibitors.
Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of energy to kill cancer cells. This kind of therapy is often used to treat symptoms of other organs affected by melanoma.