Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and develops from the cells producing the skin pigment called melanin. Melanoma usually manifests as a change in an existing mole or as a new, unusual looking growth on the skin. Excessive exposure to sunlight or to ultraviolet radiation; a history of sunburn; fair skin; irregular-shaped or large- sized moles; a family history of melanoma; a weakened immune system; exposure to carcinogens, and the presence of a genetic pigmentation disorder, are all risk factors for this condition. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and biological therapy form the main stay of modern treatment for this condition.
The Ayurvedic treatment of melanoma is aimed at treating the cancer and preventing its spread to other parts of the body. Treatment is initiated after removal of the original growth or tumor. Medicines like Mahamanjishthadi-Qadha, Gandhak-Rasayan, Chandraprabha-Vati, Kanchnaar-Guggulu and Triphala-Guggulu are used to treat the remnant of the local tumor. Herbal medicines which can be used for this purpose are: Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Behada (Terminalia bellerica), Sunthi (Zinziber officinalis), Marich (Piper nigrum), Pippali (Piper longum), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus) and Mandukparni (Centella asiatica). In addition, local applications can be used for small growths or tumors. An ointment containing Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Manjishtha, Saariva, Chandan (Santalum album) and Mandukparni can be used for this purpose.
In order to prevent or minimize the spread of the cancer cells to other parts of the body, medicines like Arogya-Vardhini, Kanchnaar-Guggulu, Mahamanjishthadi-Qadha, Guduchyadi-Qadha, Punarnavadi-Guggulu and Gokshuradi-Guggulu are used. Herbal medicines which act on the ‘Ras’ and ‘Rakta’ dhatus (tissues) of the body are useful for this purpose. These include Kutaj (Holarrhina antidysentrica), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Patha (Cissampelos pareira), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris) and Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia).
In order to maximize the therapeutic response of the above mentioned medicines, it is also essential to boost the immune system of the body. Medicines like Suvarna-Malini-Vasant, Suvarna-Parpati, Trivang-Bhasma, Tamra-Bhasma, Abhrak-Bhasma, Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Bhrungraj (Eclipta alba), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Bala (Sida cordifolia) and Naagbala (Grewia hirsuta) are used for this purpose.
Ayurvedic medicines can be used as additional therapy in the treatment of melanoma, which is the most serious and deadly type of skin cancer. Prevention of this condition is very important by avoiding excessive exposure to sunlight, wearing protective clothing, and checking the skin regularly for suspicious growths or changes.