NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma - page 41

41
NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
: Melanoma
Version 1.2013
Part 4: Overview of melanoma treatments
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Definitions:
FDA:
A federal government
agency that regulates
drugs and food
Gene:
A set of coded
instructions in cells for
making and controlling cells
Genetic marker:
A specific
set or an abnormal set of
coded instructions in cells
In-transit:
Cancer that has
spread into lymph vessels
more than 2 centimeters
away from the first tumor
but not into lymph nodes
(groups of special disease-
fighting cells)
Satellite:
Small melanoma
tumors on the skin near
the first tumor, less than 2
centimeters away
!
See pages 38
and 39 for more
treatment details
and definitions.
Ablative therapy
Ablative therapy is treatment used to destroy a tumor, tissue, or organ. Carbon
dioxide laser treatment is an ablative therapy for melanoma skin cancer. This
treatment is a gas-produced, colorless light beam that is used like a surgical
knife. The lasers cut into the surface of the skin to kill the cancer cells without
reaching deeper skin layers. Ablative therapy is not used to treat the primary
melanoma tumor, but may be used to treat satellite or in-transit disease.
Complementary and alternative medicine
You may hear about other treatments from your family and friends.
They may suggest using CAM (
c
omplementary and
a
lternative
m
edicine). CAM is a group of treatments that aren’t often given by
doctors. There is much interest today in CAM for cancer. Many CAMs
are being studied to see if they are truly helpful.
Complementary medicines are treatments given along with usual
medical treatments. While CAMs aren’t known to kill cancer cells,
they may improve your comfort and well-being. Two examples are
acupuncture for pain management and yoga for relaxation.
Alternative medicine is used in place of usual medicine. Some
alternative medicines are sold as cures even though they haven’t been
proven to work. If there was good proof that CAMs or other treatments
cured cancer, they would be included in this booklet.
It is important to tell your treatment team if you are using any CAMs.
They can tell you which CAMs may be helpful and which CAMs may
limit how well treatments work.
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