Sometimes, moles are more than just moles

3 Things That Have Improved Treatment For Melanoma

Although melanoma represents a fraction of newly diagnosed skin cancers, it is disproportionately more fatal. The fatalities associated with this aggressive form of skin cancer have improved due to better diagnosis and treatment.

Prevention And Screening

People who have more exposure to UV light have a higher risk of melanoma. Due to the warnings associated with sun exposure and tanning beds, and wider use of sun protection, many people have significantly reduced their controllable risks. The push for self-screenings and awareness about skin cancers also helps mitigate the risk because more people are checking their body for any abnormalities and bringing their concerns to their doctors. Routine checks of your skin and nail beds means you are more likely to notice any potentially cancerous lesions when they are in the earlier stages. Although melanoma is aggressive, it is frequently curable when caught early.

Better Surgical Procedures

The removal of skin cancer lesions is typically the first-step in treating melanoma and can be curative if the lesion is small and not high-grade. Since doctors were concerned about melanoma spreading, they would often remove the lesion with a wide margin, which may have been disfiguring. Over time, it was determined that smaller margins were equally effective at removing melanoma. Similar changes have been made in the use of Mohs surgery. Previously, this type of surgery was not used for melanoma due to fears it was not specific enough to detect abnormal cells associated with melanoma. Now, Mohs can be used with great accuracy for melanoma, just like other types of skin cancer.

Targeted Treatments

Part of melanoma's severity is caused by difference in mutations that may be present in some patients. With more improvements in understanding genetic mutations associated with cancer, targeted therapies have been created for different types of cancer, including melanoma. Patients with certain genetic mutations in their type of melanoma may be candidates for immunotherapy. When doctors can identify mutations in cancer cells, they can modify cancer treatments for patients. Doctors might determine immunotherapy is a better first-line option instead of chemotherapy, thereby increasing the chance of an effective treatment and remission. At minimum, some patients with advanced melanoma may have delayed metastasis of their cancer and longer survival with targeted treatments.

Melanoma remains an aggressive form of skin cancer, but there is no reason to lose hope. If you are diagnosed with melanoma, catching the disease in the early stages and better treatment options can give you a good chance at remission. Contact a melanoma cancer treatment service for more help.

About Me

Sometimes, moles are more than just moles

Do you have a lot of moles on your body that you don't like the appearance of? Are some of your moles changing colors? Sometimes, moles are more than just moles. Do you know how to tell the difference? Do you know if the moles that bother you can be removed? I had three moles on my face that began to get larger as I got older. Around my 35th birthday, I went to see a dermatologist for help. There, I learned that moles can actually be signs of something more seriously wrong and how to identify moles that are more than just moles. Visit my website to find out what I learned.


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