Melanoma Specialist

General Surgery Associates -  - General Surgeon

General Surgery Associates

General Surgeons located in Las Vegas, NV

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, but if it’s found and treated early, it is nearly always curable. If you have been diagnosed with melanoma or have reason to suspect you may have it, book an appointment online or by phone with one of the experts at General Surgery Associates in Las Vegas, Nevada, to explore your treatment options.

Melanoma

What is melanoma?

Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer and is most commonly caused by sun overexposure. Not only does it affect your skin, it can also invade the surrounding tissues and spread to other parts of your body where it becomes much more difficult to treat.

If caught and treated early, before it spreads to other organs, melanoma is almost always curable.

What are the risk factors for melanoma?

You are more likely to get melanoma if you:

  • Have fair skin or skin that burns easily
  • Are exposed to sunlight or use tanning beds for long periods
  • Are exposed to radiation, some solvents, and other environmental risks
  • Have family members who have unusual moles
  • Have many moles yourself
  • Carry certain genes

Anyone can get melanoma. Although having fair skin is a risk factor, people with dark skin can also develop it.

What are the signs and symptoms of melanoma?

Especially if you have one or more risk factors for melanoma, you should watch for certain signs. You should see your doctor if you have a mole that:

  • Changes
  • Is irregularly shaped
  • Is more than one color
  • Itches
  • Oozes or bleeds

If you have a change in the pigment of your skin, or if you have new moles that form near existing moles — called satellite moles — you should see your doctor for an exam.

How is melanoma treated?

The first step in nearly all melanoma treatment plans is removal of the melanoma. Most of the time, melanoma surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home the same day, and in early stage cancers, it usually completely cures the disease.

Your surgeon may recommend one of several procedures, including a wide excision where your surgeon removes the tumor along with some healthy skin around it.

Mohs surgery is another option. With Mohs surgery, your surgeon removes the tumor in thin layers, examining each layer. When no more cancer cells are detected, the surgeon stops removing layers.

In rarer cases, amputation of a finger or toe may be the most appropriate treatment to stop melanoma. If the cancer is more advanced, your surgeon may recommend removing the lymph nodes near the site of the primary tumor.

If you have melanoma, call or book an appointment online to find the best treatment for you.