Cancer can occur anywhere in the body and even in the skin. Skin cancer is not very common, but it does affect people a lot. Melanoma is one of the most deadly forms of skin cancer. The other two types of skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Melanoma can be detected very rarely and appears in the form of a mole or a sudden dark spot. Any suspicion of skin cancer is detected by an incredible ABCD body mole map where ‘A’ stands for asymmetry, ‘B’ stands for border, ‘C’ stands for color and ‘D’ stands for diameter.
While the other two types of skin cancer can be treated with chemotherapy and strong drugs, it is very rare that melanoma treatments are successful. There are many types of melanoma treatments; the treatments depend on various factors that are directly related to the patient. For effective melanoma treatments, early diagnosis is very important. Diagnosis is done thoroughly by skin biopsy that might include:
- Shave biopsy where the upper layer of the skin is shaved off to be tested under a microscope
- Punch biopsy where several layers of the skin are removed
- Excisional biopsy where the entire tumor is removed and tested thoroughly
Melanoma treatments have improved over the years, and now there are 11 types of treatments that can be done. Some of them, according to the stages of the disease are as follows:
- Stage 0: Surgery is the best way to get rid of the cells as this is the initial stage of melanoma.
- Stage 1: Surgery is preferred to remove the tumor and some cells around it. Lymph node mapping is done, and then clinical trials are done.
- Stage 2: Surgery of tumor is done, followed by immunotherapy with interferon, and finally clinical trials.
- Stage 3: When the tumor cannot be removed, chemotherapy is done followed palliative therapy.