Treatment of Melanoma Skin Cancer

Dr. Jan Peter Dank, MD, Dermatologist, discusses the treatment of melanoma skin cancer.

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Dr. Jan Peter Dank, MD, Dermatologist, discusses the treatment of melanoma skin cancer.
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Featuring Dr. Jan Peter Dank, MD, Dermatologist

Duration: 1 minute, 45 seconds                                      

Skin cancers are generally categorized into non-melanoma skin cancer and melanoma skin cancer. 

Non-melanoma skin cancers are the more common type of skin cancer, but melanomas are the much more serious and aggressive type. Because melanomas are more aggressive, they are more deadly. 

Unfortunately, one in ten people who get melanoma will die of melanoma. If melanomas are found early and treated surgically, treatment and cure rates are good with nine out of ten people surviving this cancer. 

The most important part of treating a melanoma is to surgically remove the primary tumor from the skin. That will be done with a fairly wide amount of normal skin tissue around the tumor to make sure any skin cells that are invading around the tumor are also removed.  

If the melanoma is a thin melanoma, generally a millimeter thin or less, that is most likely going to be the end of the treatments needed. However, for melanomas that are more advanced and thicker, further studies are often done to determine if the melanoma has spread. 

One such study is called a sentinel lymph node procedure, where the surgeons will look to see if the melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes. CT scans and PET scans can also be done to see if the melanoma has spread to other organs. 

If the melanoma has spread, the doctors will talk to you about various chemotherapy and radiation treatments that are available for melanoma that’s spreading.  

If you have a brown or black spot on your skin that looks like a mole that’s changing its size, shape and color – please see your doctor as soon as possible.  

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Presenter: Dr. Jan Peter Dank, Dermatologist, Bellingham, WA

Local Practitioners: Dermatologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.