Tests are used to screen for different types of cancer.Some screening tests are used because they have been shown to be helpful both in finding cancers early and in decreasing the chance of dying from these cancers. Other tests are used because they have been shown to find cancer in some people; however, it has not been proven in clinical trials that use of these tests will decrease the risk of dying from cancer. Scientists study screening tests to find those with the fewest risks and most benefits. Cancer screening trials also are meant to show whether early detection (finding cancer before it causes symptoms) decreases a person's chance of dying from the disease. For some types of cancer, finding and treating the disease at an early stage may result in a better chance of recovery.Clinical trials that study cancer screening methods are taking place in many parts of the country. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site. Skin exams are used to screen
This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http://cancer.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.Melanoma Treatment
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
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.
After intraocular melanoma has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. The process used to find out if cancer has spread to other parts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment. The following tests and procedures may be used in the staging process:Blood chemistry studies: A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body. An unusual (higher or lower than normal) amount of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that makes it.Liver function tests: A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by the liver. A higher than normal amount of a substance can be a sign the cancer has spread to the
Purpose of This SummaryThis PDQ cancer information summary for health professionals provides comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based information about the genetics of skin cancer. It is intended as a resource to inform and assist clinicians who care for cancer patients. It does not provide formal guidelines or recommendations for making health care decisions.Reviewers and UpdatesThis summary is reviewed regularly and updated as necessary by the PDQ Cancer Genetics Editorial Board, which is editorially independent of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The summary reflects an independent review of the literature and does not represent a policy statement of NCI or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Board members review recently published articles each month to determine whether an article should:be discussed at a meeting,be cited with text, orreplace or update an existing article that is already cited.Changes to the summaries are made through a consensus process in which
Intraocular melanoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the eye.Intraocular melanoma begins in the middle of three layers of the wall of the eye. The outer layer includes the white sclera (the white of the eye) and the clear cornea at the front of the eye. The inner layer has a lining of nerve tissue, called the retina, which senses light and sends images along the optic nerve to the brain.The middle layer, where intraocular melanoma forms, is called the uvea or uveal tract, and has three main parts:IrisThe iris is the colored area at the front of the eye (the eye color). It can be seen through the clear cornea. The pupil is in the center of the iris and it changes size to let more or less light into the eye. Intraocular melanoma of the iris is usually a small tumor that grows slowly and rarely spreads to other parts of the body.Ciliary bodyThe ciliary body is a ring of tissue with muscle fibers that change the size of the pupil and the shape of the
Many of the medical and scientific terms used in this summary are found in the NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms. When a linked term is clicked,the definition will appear in a separate window. Many of the genes described in this summary are found in the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database. When OMIM appears after a gene name or the name of a condition,click on OMIM for a link ...
BackgroundIncidence and mortalityThere are three main types of skin cancer:Basal cell carcinoma (BCC).Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which together with BCC is referred to as nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC).Melanoma.BCC and SCC are the most common forms of skin cancer but have substantially better prognoses than the less common, generally more aggressive, melanoma.NMSC is the most commonly occurring cancer in the United States. Its incidence appears to be increasing in some, but not all, areas of the country. Overall U.S. incidence rates have likely been increasing for a number of years. At least some of this increase may be attributable to increasing skin cancer awareness and resulting increasing investigation and biopsy of skin lesions. The total number and incidence rate of NMSCs cannot be estimated precisely because reporting to cancer registries is not required. However, based on extrapolation of Medicare fee-for-service data to the U.S.
This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http://cancer.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.Skin Cancer Screening