When we are diagnosed with melanoma the first thing that we begin to feel is fear. It is hard to deal with the emotions that flood our minds – but we must remember to stay calm and to have a clear mind so that we can learn what to do to take care of it.
There are many different treatments that can be used. How big the tumor and what stage the cancer is in will determine which treatment will be more effective in removing the cancer and the tumor.
Melanoma Surgery Treatments
When doctors discover melanoma in their patients the first thing they do is remove the tumor and the tissue surrounding it that could be infected by the cancer cells. By removing the tumor quickly they could prevent the cells from spreading to other parts of the body.
There are times when melanoma is found within a single toe or finger. When this happens the best way to remove the cancer cells before they spread is to remove the infected to or finger.
This procedure is used to remove the tumor and the infected tissue around it. The bigger the tumor is the more tissue that will be removed. Doctors will take the tissue they have removed and will send it to the lab to be examined under the microscope to see if it contains any cancer cells.
Lymph Node Dissection
This is a surgical treatment that is used by doctors not to remove the tumor – but to remove most or all of the lymph nodes in the general area and examining them to find cancer cells. A lymph node is a large amount of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by connective tissue.
Lymph nodes will filter foreign particles and bacteria like cancer cells. If the cells have spread doctors might have the ability to find it in the lymph nodes closest to it and remove it before it can spread. A biopsy will help to determine if the melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery
This surgery is used in place of excisional surgery. During this procedure the surgeon will remove the tumor that is visible as well as a thin layer of tissue around it. This treatment is unusual because the tissue that is removed is being examined while the patient is still in surgery.
The surgeon will continue to remove tissue and examine it until they do not find any cancer cells. It takes close to an hour to remove and examine each layer of tissue.