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- Excisional Surgery – When melanomas are discovered at an early stage, thin and have not spread beyond the original tumor site, standard excisional surgery is frequently the sole treatment required.
- Regional Lymph Node Dissection – If stray cancer cells spread beyond the tumor’s original borders, they may reach nearby lymph nodes. This is a major concern because lymph nodes empty fluid into the bloodstream, and cancerous cells could be carried throughout the body. To keep this from happening, surgeons may remove the entire group of lymph nodes closest to the tumor. Sometimes remaining nodes are spared if no cancerous cells are found in the sentinel nodes.
- Other Treatments – When cancer cells spread beyond the lymph nodes, the melanoma is considered advanced, and a variety of treatment options are used. These additional treatments include radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy (synthetic versions of natural disease-fighting drugs such as interferon and interleukin). These techniques do not cure the majority of advanced cancers. However, they often delay the cancer’s advance and increase the lifespan of patients.