Getting Your Moles Checked Out

Surgical Treatments For Melanoma

by Javier Bell

Your skin is the largest organ you possess. Because your skin is constantly exposed to the elements, you could be at risk of developing a type of cancer known as melanoma. Melanoma can be life-threatening if not treated properly.

Here are three surgical options that might be used to eliminate your melanoma in the future.

1. Wide Excision

As soon as a skin biopsy reveals the presence of melanoma, your doctor might want to perform a wide excision to remove the affected tissue. A wide excision is considered a fairly mild surgical procedure and can often be performed using only a local anesthesia.

Your doctor will identify the area affected by melanoma, then cut into the healthy tissue surrounding the melanoma to ensure all cancer cells are removed. If your melanoma is diagnosed early, wide excision can be an effective surgical treatment measure to prevent the spread of deadly cancer cells throughout your body.

2. Mohs Surgery

Another potential surgical method that can be used to treat melanoma is Mohs surgery. This procedure must be performed by a dermatologist with specialized training in the technique.

During a Mohs surgery, thin layers of your skin in the area affected by melanoma are shaved off. After each layer is removed, the dermatologist will examine the skin under a microscope to check for the presence of cancer cells. Layers will be removed until no cancer cells are detected by microscopic examination. 

3. Amputation

If your melanoma isn't detected early or it is aggressive and spreads quickly, you may find yourself facing amputation as a surgical option. Amputation is sometimes used to treat melanoma when the cancer cells have grown deeply into a finger, toe, or ear.

Removing the affected digit or piece of the ear can help to prevent the spread of cancer throughout your body, allowing you to effectively treat your melanoma before it can become deadly.

Knowing your options when it comes to treating melanoma is important since this type of skin cancer could become a problem for you in the future. Surgical treatment options like a wide excision, Mohs surgery, or amputation can be utilized to eliminate melanoma cells before they have the chance to metastasize and spread throughout the rest of your body, putting your life at risk. Talk to a dermatology clinic like Asheboro Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center about the benefits of using surgical methods to treat melanoma if you are diagnosed with this type of cancer in the future.