If you have any moles on your body, you should examine them frequently for changes. New or evolving moles could be a sign of melanoma, a highly spreadable type of skin cancer. At Texas Skin Cancer Center in Kingwood, Pearland, Webster, and Houston, Texas, Joseph Sedrak, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating malignant melanoma with radiation, chemotherapy, and other approaches. For expert melanoma testing and treatment, call Texas Skin Cancer Center or book an appointment online today.
Melanocytes are a type of cell in your skin that gives it color. Melanoma develops when these cells grow uncontrollably. Unlike other types of skin cancer, melanoma is likely to become malignant. This means it can spread to other areas of your body.
At Texas Skin Cancer Center, Dr. Sedrak specializes in diagnosing and treating melanoma whether or not it is malignant. Getting an early diagnosis and starting treatment as soon as possible improves your chances of successful treatment and recovery.
You can get melanoma nearly anywhere on your body. For men, the most common areas are the chest and back. Women are more likely to develop it on their legs. Other common sites include your palms, soles, and the skin under your fingernails.
Melanoma can take on a number of different physical features. You should book an evaluation at Texas Skin Cancer Center if you notice a mole or spot that is new or changes in its shape or color. You can remember the acronym “ABCDE” to check the spots on your skin for features of melanoma:
Even if you haven’t yet noticed any lesions or changes on your own skin, getting annual skin cancer screenings can help you catch it early.
At Texas Skin Cancer Center, Dr. Sedrak customizes your melanoma treatment plan according to the lesion’s location, your cancer stage, and your general health. Your treatment for melanoma might involve:
When melanoma spreads, it affects nearby lymph nodes first. If you have melanoma, Dr. Sedrak might perform lymph node dissection to remove the lymph nodes near the melanoma.
Cancer cells from melanoma can produce proteins that shield them from your immune system. Immunotherapy helps your immune system see past these proteins to fight the cancer cells.
Radiation therapy involves powerful beams of X-ray energy to kill cancer cells. Dr. Sedrak might recommend radiation therapy after a surgery that removes most of the lesion.
Targeted drug therapy targets weaknesses within your cancer cells to cause them to die. To find out if you’re a candidate for this treatment, Dr. Sedrak tests the cancer cells first.
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment involving cancer-fighting drugs. You might undergo chemotherapy intravenously or with pills that you take by mouth.
If you’re concerned about a new or evolving mole, don’t hesitate to book an appointment by phone or online at Texas Skin Cancer Center for melanoma testing and treatment today.