Common Treatments for Melanoma Skin Cancer

As with any type of cancer, early detection gives patients the very best hopes for effective treatment of their skin cancer. Melanomas not diagnosed until the later stages can spread to the lymph nodes, blood stream, or internal organs and become fatal. Treatment of melanoma is typically decided by stage, for instance, early-stage melanomas are often surgically removed while melanomas in more advanced stages often require more aggressive treatment plans.

The most common melanoma skin cancer treatments include…

Radiation therapy
Radiation is a type of cancer therapy that applies high-energy rays (i.e., x-rays) to kill cancer cells. Radiation is most often used to treat skin cancer that’s spread to other parts of the body.

Another more advanced melanoma treatment, chemotherapy (or chemo) typically injects drugs into the body to eradicate cancer cells that have spread. Chemo drugs can also be taken orally (in pill form).

Surgical removal
Surgery for melanoma involves removal of the cancerous cells as well as a portion of surrounding tissues. Surgery alone is typically an early stage option for melanoma patients.

This therapy calls on the body’s natural defences to suppress the development of cancerous melanoma cells. Immunotherapy can only be used in patients with immune systems that are still strong.