Melanomas that have not spread beyond the site at which they developed are highly curable. Most of these are thin lesions that have not invaded beyond the papillary dermis (Clark level I–II; Breslow thickness ≤1 mm). The treatment of localized melanoma is surgical excision with margins proportional to the microstage of the primary lesion; for most lesions 2 mm or less in thickness, this means 1 cm radial re-excision margins.[1,2]Melanomas with a Breslow thickness of 2 mm or more are still curable in a significant proportion of patients, but the risk of lymph node and/or systemic metastasis increases with increasing thickness of the primary lesion. The local treatment for these melanomas is surgical excision with margins based on Breslow thickness and anatomic location. For most melanomas more than 2 mm to 4 mm in thickness, this means 2 cm to 3 cm radial excision margins. These patients should also be considered for sentinel lymph node biopsy followed by complete lymph node
Actinic keratosis is not cancer but is treated because it may develop into cancer. Treatment of actinic keratosis may include the following:Topical chemotherapy.Topical biologic therapy with imiquimod.Cryosurgery.Electrodesiccation and curettage.Dermabrasion.Shave excision.Photodynamic therapy.Laser surgery.Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with actinic keratosis. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.
The PDQ cancer information summaries are reviewed regularly and updated as new information becomes available. This section describes the latest changes made to this summary as of the date above.Changes were made to this summary to match those made to the health professional version.
Radiation therapy for nonmelanoma skin cancer may be recommended for people who may not be able to have surgery because of the location of the skin cancer. Radiation therapy may also be a treatment choice for older adults if surgery is too risky.