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Skin cancer treatment - melanoma

Skin cancer treatment - melanoma

The treatment of any cancer can be divided into radical and palliative. With radical treatment the doctor seeks for total tumor removal. Palliative treatment can reduce symptoms of the disease, but the tumor (or/ and its metastases) cannot be completely removed. The cancer treatment is also divided into systemic and local. Systemic cancer treatment includes chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Usually a surgery is chosen as a method of treatment for melanoma.

There are several methods:

  • medical treatment,
  • cryodestruction,
  • laser destruction,
  • photodynamic therapy,
  • radiation therapy,
  • skin cancer surgery,
  • adjuvant treatment with interferon alpha,
  • combination of several methods.

Skin cancer (melanoma) – medical treatment

Prescription of most effective medications in order to treat melanomas.

Treatments of skin cancer (melanoma) – cryodestruction

A procedure of a skin cancer melanoma removal, during which low temperature liquid nitrogen is used. The procedure allows to remove benign skin lesions, such as warts, papilloma or tumors of epithelial origin.

Treatments of skin cancer – laser destruction

Sin cancer removal using a laser.

Skin cancer (melanoma) – photodynamic therapy

During the procedure a substance sensitive to a light is applied on a skin lesion and after 3-6 hours the area is enlightened with special rays.

Treatments of skin cancer (melanoma) - radiation therapy

One of a complex melanoma treatment methods applied to a quarter of patients. Most often the method is chosen for a malignant melanoma treatment.

Skin cancer (melanoma) – surgical treatment

The treatment of primary tumor includes radical surgery.

When we talk about undoubtedly diagnosed melanoma, radical one phase surgery is performed. The tumor is dissected up to muscle fascia (minimum 0,5 cm) distance from the edges of the tumor. A proximal lymph node is also resected and a biopsy is performed, if there are any changes in lymph nodes. If the diagnosis of the melanoma is not certain, two phases surgery is performed. At first phase, the tumor is cut out by its edges. It is usually done using local anesthesia. When the diagnosis is histologically proven by a pathologist, secondary wide excision is made immediately. The thickness of the tumor which is established during the histologic examination shows, how much of a surrounding unhealthy skin should be removed during the second excision.

A radical lymphadenectomy is another surgical operation which is performed when there are macro metastases in local lymph nodes. This means that the stage of cancer is III. If the stage of the disease is IV and there are macro metastases in local lymph nodes, the skin cancer treatment is considered individually. The excision of local lymph nodes is performed when lymph nodes are abnormally enlarged. Preventive excision of lymph nodes isn’t performed unless the cancer is head’s or neck’s melanoma. The survey suggests that removing all local lymph nodes to which the tumor could possibly metastasase is beside the purpose because this type of surgery does not extend patients lifespan.

Surgical treatments of skin cancer also include a surgical removal of separate metastases. Isolated, limited metastases can be removed from skin, lymph nodes or internal organs. Metastases are removed without interrupting systemic treatmnent.

Treatments of skin cancer – Adjuvant treatment with interferon alpha

Adjuvant treatment with interferon alpha is prescribed:

  • For high risk melanoma patients; 
  • When the tumor is deeper than 4 mm and (or) there are metastases in local lymph nodes;
  • After surgical removal of primary tumor and metastases; 
  • Patients are treated using interferon alpha 2a . The usage of this skin cancer cure cause lots of side effects.

Possible side effects:

  • flu simptoms;
  • fever;
  • tachycardia;
  • weakness;
  • depression;
  • leukopenia ( a decrease in the number of white blood cells);
  • thrombocytopenia (a decrease in the number of platelets);
  • anemia.

This skin cancer cure effectiveness is not clear when melanoma is originated in mucus membranes, when there is the melanoma of an eye, when there are other tumors of other internal organs, when patient suffers from automimmune dieseases, diseases of the thyroid gland. It also cannot be prescribed after myocardial infarction.

Cures for skin cancer – systemic chemotherapy

When talking about the use of chemotharapy it is important to understand The Skipper‘s law.

Law 1

The doubling time of proliferating cancer cells is a constant, forming a straight line on a semi log plot. (This means that if we have a known tumor we can prognose how fast will it proliferate/ grow.)

Law 2

Cell kill by drugs follows first-order kinetics; that is, the percentage of cells killed at a given drug dose in a given tumor is a constant, regardless of the body burden of tumor cells. (It means that we can predict how much tumor cells will kill a known drug.)

When we consider these two laws we can see that there are two groups of factors that affect the cource of the treatment. One group is tumor factors and the other is chemotherapy factors.

We can higher the intensity of chemotherapy treatment by increasing dose intensive (prescribe higher doses of drug) and time intensive (reduce time intervals between doses).

It is not efficient to cure IV stage melanoma with chemotherapy. Chemoterapy is more effective when metastases are found in the skin, lymph nodes or lungs than when they are in the skeleton or brain. Polychemotherapy can be more effective than monochemotherapy in those cases when large doses of cytostatics are prescribed. Polychemotherapy also reduces side effects of the treatment (it is called lower systemic toxicity).

The principles of polychemotherapy:

A doctor can only use those drugs which are effective as monotherapy:

  • Different drugs cannot have cross – toxicity.
  • The intermittent use of several drugs is desirable.
  • The maximal tolerated doses are used.
  • Drugs should work as synergists.

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Skin cancer cures – palliative immuntherapie.

Palliative immunotherapie is used when the stage of melanoma is IV. Word palliative means that the treatment only reduces pain but cannot cure the cause of the disease. It only alleviates the patients distress.

Natural skin cancer cures

A lot of medical doctors are looking for ways how to cure skin cancer with natural cures because typycal treatment tools do serious demage to patients entire body system. Naturalal skin cancer cures include Black Raspberry seed oil (the oil is known for its anticancer effect), eggplant extract, Myrrh oil, Frankincense oil, vitamin C.