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How is nodular melanoma treated?

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It’s a dangerous form of skin cancer that grows quickly. If it’s caught very early, your dermatologist will recommend surgery. A surgeon will remove the melanoma, plus some of the normal skin surrounding it and a layer of tissue beneath. This may be the only treatment you need.

But most nodular melanomas are diagnosed after the cancer has already spread. Treatment options may include:

Lymph node surgery: If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, a surgeon may remove them.

Chemotherapy: In this treatment, drugs are injected into a vein or taken by pill. They travel through the bloodstream to kill cancer cells.

Radiation therapy: This therapy uses powerful rays, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. It’s sometimes used after lymph node surgery. This is done to prevent the melanoma from returning.

Immunotherapy: These medicines boost your immune system. That helps your body spot and destroy cancer cells. It’s often used for advanced melanomas.

Targeted therapy: These drugs target certain parts of melanoma cells. They may work when chemotherapy doesn’t. This treatment is only used if you have a certain genetic mutation.

From: What Is Nodular Melanoma? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Laura Korb Ferris, MD, PhD, associate professor of dermatology, University of Pittsburgh; director of clinical trials, University of Pittsburgh Department of Dermatology.

Skin Cancer Foundation: “Types of Melanoma.”

American Cancer Society: “What Is Melanoma Skin Cancer?”

Cleveland Clinic: “Melanoma.”

JAMA Dermatology : “The Contribution of Nodular Subtype to Melanoma Mortality in the United States, 1978 to 2007.”

JAMA Dermatology : “History, Clinical, and Dermoscopic Characteristics of Thin Nodular Melanoma.”

Journal of Medical Case Reports : “Nodular Melanoma Presenting With Rapid Progression and Widespread Metasases: A Case Report.”

American Cancer Society: “Treating Melanoma Skin Cancer.”

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on September 12, 2017

SOURCES:

Laura Korb Ferris, MD, PhD, associate professor of dermatology, University of Pittsburgh; director of clinical trials, University of Pittsburgh Department of Dermatology.

Skin Cancer Foundation: “Types of Melanoma.”

American Cancer Society: “What Is Melanoma Skin Cancer?”

Cleveland Clinic: “Melanoma.”

JAMA Dermatology : “The Contribution of Nodular Subtype to Melanoma Mortality in the United States, 1978 to 2007.”

JAMA Dermatology : “History, Clinical, and Dermoscopic Characteristics of Thin Nodular Melanoma.”

Journal of Medical Case Reports : “Nodular Melanoma Presenting With Rapid Progression and Widespread Metasases: A Case Report.”

American Cancer Society: “Treating Melanoma Skin Cancer.”

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on September 12, 2017

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