West Cancer Center is positioned as the region’s comprehensive leader in adult cancer care and research. Our team at West Cancer Center offers an unparalleled melanoma treatment plan for patients across the Mid-South region – collaborating with West’s leaders in radiation therapy, medical oncology, surgical oncology, and research to provide each patient with most individualized care possible. West Cancer Center is nationally-renowned leader in the field of melanoma research and treatment, providing patients with both clinical expertise and cutting-edge treatment options for this and other diseases.
A patient with melanoma symptoms may have one or more of the following procedures to determine your diagnosis:
- Excisional biopsy: a procedure where the entire tumor is removed and examined by a pathologist.
- Shave biopsy: a procedure where just the top layers of skin are removed for examination. This biopsy is used when the risk of melanoma is low.
- Punch biopsy: a procedure where your physician uses a tool with a circular blade to remove several layers of skin for examination and biopsy.
- Incisional biopsy: a procedure where only the most irregular part of a mole or growth is removed for examination and biopsy.
- Thickness test: a pathologist examines the skin biopsy to determine the thickness of the melanoma. Thickness is an important indicator in determining whether or not the melanoma has spread to other parts of the body.
Your Treatment Plan
Your melanoma treatment plan will vary depending on multiple factors, including but not limited to your stage of diagnosis, as well as the location of your cancer. Your dedicated team of cancer experts will discuss your treatment options and plan with you, allowing you and your loved ones to consider all possible treatment options for your diagnosis.
Potential treatment options for your diagnosis include:
- Surgery: your physician may recommend surgery for the removal of the tumor and any affected lymph nodes. Surgery is typically the first treatment option for patients whose melanoma has not spread to anywhere else in the body.
- Immunotherapy: an innovative form of drug therapy that stimulates or restores the ability of the immune system to fight cancer.
- Radiation therapy: radiation therapy is the use of high-powered radiation beams to kill cancer cells. Your physician may recommend this therapy after surgery to remove the lymph nodes, or to relieve symptoms in patients whose cancer may have spread to the bone. To learn more Radiation Oncology and the types of radiation therapies offered at West Cancer Center, click here.
- Chemotherapy: a drug therapy designed to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells, chemotherapy may be used in combination with other therapies to treat your cancer.
- Additional therapies as needed, including targeted therapy options. Every patient is different, so please consult your physician for the most appropriate treatment plan for your cancer.