Most Dangerous Form of Skin Cancer
How It Happens
What It Looks Like
- Stage 1 melanoma is treated by wide excision (surgery to remove the melanoma as well as a margin of normal skin around it). The amount of normal skin removed depends on the thickness of the melanoma.
- Wide excision is the standard treatment for stage 2 melanoma. If the melanoma is between 1 mm and 2 mm thick, a margin of 1 to 2 cm of normal skin will be removed as well. If the melanoma is thicker than 2 mm, about 2 cm of normal skin will be removed from around the tumor site.
- These cancers have already reached the lymph nodes when the melanoma is first diagnosed. Surgical treatment for stage 3 melanoma usually requires lymph node dissection, along with wide excision of the primary tumor as in stage 2. Adjuvant therapy with interferon may help some patients with stage 3 melanomas fight off recurrence longer.
- This stage is very hard to cure, as it hase already spread to distant lymph nodes or other areas of the body. Skin tumors or spread to the lymph nodes causing symptoms can often be removed by surgery. Metastases in internal organs are sometimes removed, depending on how many there are, where they are located, and how likely they are to cause symptoms.
"Treatment of Melanoma Skin Cancer by Stage." Treatment of Melanoma Skin Cancer by Stage. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2013. <http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-melanoma/detailedguide/melanoma-skin-cancer-treating-by-stage>.
"Skin Cancer Foundation." Melanoma. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2013. <http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma>.