NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma - page 36

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Melanoma, Version 1.2014
There is more than one treatment
for melanoma. The main types are
described on the next pages. This
information may help you use the
Treatment guide
in Part 5. It may also
help you know what to expect during
treatment. Not every person with
melanoma will receive every treatment
Generally, surgery is the main (primary) treatment for
melanoma skin cancer. Thus, almost all patients with
melanoma will have surgery after the skin biopsy. The
goal of surgery is to remove all of the cancer from
your body. For melanomas that are deemed by your
doctor to have a low risk of spread, surgery to remove
the primary tumor may be the only treatment needed.
There are different types of surgery that may be used
for melanoma. The main types of surgery used are a
wide excision, sentinel lymph node biopsy, and lymph
node dissection.
Wide excision
A wide excision is surgery that removes the entire
melanoma tumor along with some normal-looking
tissue around its edge.
See Figure 10.
The normal-
looking tissue is called the surgical margin. The size
of the surgical margin, measured in cm (
depends mostly on the thickness of the tumor.
Chart 2.
Depending on the size of the surgical margin
and the location of the melanoma, a wide excision
may be done using local anesthesia that is injected
into the area to numb it before the surgery. Local
anesthesia is a controlled loss of feeling in a small
area of the body due to drugs being given in that area.
Overview of
34 Surgery
36 Treatment with drugs
40 Radiation and ablative therapy
41 Clinical trials
42 Side effects of cancer treatments
46 Websites | Review
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