Q:

What treatments are available for malignant melanoma?

A:

Quick Answer

There are many different treatments for melanoma, including surgery, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy using inhibitors, according to WebMD. The course of treatment is dependent upon the stage of melanoma.

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Full Answer

Melanoma is difficult to treat when it has spread, so any one that experiences symptoms related to melanoma should see their doctor immediately, reports WebMD. If caught in the early stages, it is much easier to successfully treat. The best way to determine if someone has melanoma or not is to identify and examine any moles, states the Skin Cancer foundation. Moles that are asymmetric, have irregular borders, change in size, change in shape or are dark in color should be examined by a doctor as soon as possible. Doctors will perform a skin exam and a biopsy to rule out melanoma.

There are many risk factors for developing melanoma. These risk factors include fair skin, light-colored eyes, too much exposure to sunlight, tanning beds, exposure to radiation or vinyl chloride, a history of blistering sunburns, large moles, a family history of melanoma and a weak immune system, according to the National Cancer Institute. The skin is the largest organ in the body and melanoma can occur on any skin surface area. Most women get melanoma on their legs or arms while most men get it on their stomach and shoulders.

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