Reality stars have recently been opening up about having moles removed in a bid to prevent them from getting skin cancer. Former Love Island star, Olivia Attwood, has become the latest to share her experience through social media, after having a mole removed from her back.
Removing moles that have changed can be an effective way to identify an early melanoma. The question is, what treatment options are available if you are unlucky enough to develop the cancer? Here, we will look at the best treatment method for melanoma.
Excision of the melanoma
Patients who have stage 1 or 2 melanoma, will usually be treated initially with a wide local excision. A local anaesthetic will be used before the melanoma is removed surgically.
If there is a likelihood that the surgery will leave behind a scar, that may cross a joint, or in an awkward place to close the wound, you may need a skin graft or flap.
Most of the time, once the melanoma has been removed with an excision surgery, it will not return. You will be monitored for up to 5 years after the treatment to ensure it doesn’t return.
Sentinel node biopsy
During an excision of the melanoma, the surgeon may also carry out a sentinel node biopsy. This helps to determine whether the cancer cells have spread throughout the lymphatic system. If it shows to have spread, you usually no longer need node dissection, but will need surveillance with ultrasound.
If you have melanoma in a lymph node, you will need staging scans, and should see a medical oncologist about whether treatments to reduce the risk of melanoma coming back are correct for you.
Optional clinical trials
If you are diagnosed with melanoma, you may be an ideal candidate for clinical trials that are currently being conducted.
You can talk to Mr Smith to determine whether you are suitable for any current clinical trials available where he practices. He will also be able to tell you more about them and how they work.
While it is important to diagnose and treat melanoma as quickly as possible, treatment options have come a long way. Even if you have been diagnosed with advanced melanoma, there are effective, potentially life-saving treatments available.
For more advice, call us on 020 3770 5864 to arrange an appointment at the HCA Lister Hospital Clinics (Chelsea Outpatient Centre and Chiswick Medical Centre) or call 020 7808 2785 to book a consultation with Mr Myles Smith at the Royal Marsden Hospital.