Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Topic Overview
The most common treatment is
surgery to remove the melanoma. That is all the treatment that you may need for
early-stage melanomas that have not spread to other parts of your body.
After surgery, your doctor will set up a schedule of frequent checkups that will happen less often as time goes on. Your doctor will talk with you about how you can lower your chances of having another melanoma.
If your melanoma is very deep or has spread to your lymph nodes, your doctor may talk with you about taking a medicine called
interferon. Or your doctor may recommend that you enroll in a clinical trial.
Can you prevent melanoma?
The best way to prevent
all kinds of skin cancer, including melanoma, is to protect yourself whenever
you are out in the sun. It's important to avoid exposure to the sun's
ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- Try to stay out
of the sun during the middle of the day (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
- Wear protective clothes when you are outside, such as a hat that
shades your face, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants.
- Get in the
habit of using sunscreen every day. Your sunscreen should have an
SPF of least 15. Look for a sunscreen that protects
against both types of UV radiation in the sun's rays-UVA and
- Use a higher SPF when you are at higher
- Avoid sunbathing and tanning salons.
Check your skin every month for odd marks, moles, or
sores that will not heal. Pay extra attention to areas that get a lot of sun,
such as your hands, arms, and back. Ask your doctor to check your skin during
regular physical exams or at least once a year. Even though the biggest cause
of melanoma is spending too much time in the sun, it can be found on parts of
your body that never see the sun.
Frequently Asked Questions