Melanoma treatment in the UK

According to Cancer Research UK, there were 14,509 new cases of malignant melanoma in 2013 in the United Kingdom. These rates have been increasing since the 1970s and UK malignant melanoma incidence rates are estimated to be the ninth highest in males in Europe and seventh highest in females. With the ever-increasing risk of melanoma and the advancements in research and technology, it’s important to understand what the treatment options are.

The British Association of Dermatologists list the state of the main treatment options presently available in the UK.

Read more: What is melanoma?

Removal by surgery

Most melanomas can be treated by surgery to remove the cancerous cells and growth. This treatment usually cures melanomas that are in the early stages. After a melanoma is diagnosed through a skin biopsy, a doctor will numb the area of the skin around the melanoma with a local anaesthesia and cut out the tumor. In most cases, people will need no further treatments. If the cancer has already metastasized throughout the body, surgery may be used to remove tumors or lymph glands more as a way to control the cancer rather than to cure it. In these stages, surgery will often be used in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation.

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy kills cancer cells with high-energy light rays. It is not considered a particularly helpful form of treatment for melanoma in the UK and is normally used only in areas where surgery is not an option or as a form of palliative care, to minimize tumors or help control symptoms.

Wide-excision surgery

To prevent melanomas from returning, many people will need another surgery at the original site of the melanoma. These surgeries are typically “wide-excision” surgeries. Wide-excision surgeries are not very different from the original removal surgery except that this time a wider margin is taken around the melanoma site, removing some healthy skin in the process. This ensures that all of the cancerous cells have been removed and reduces the risk of the cancer growing back. In some cases, if it is a particularly large melanoma, a skin graft may be needed to cover the wound.

Sentinel node biopsy

A sentinel node biopsy is the removal of a small piece of a “sentinel” lymph node. According to the Mayo Clinic, the sentinel nodes are the first few lymph nodes into which a tumor drains. This treatment is usually performed as an additional procedure when a melanoma is being removed. It is mainly used as a way of determining if the melanoma has spread beyond the original tumor site and into the lymph nodes. It is considered a non-essential treatment in the UK and is only used in a small number of clinics, often for research purposes. According to Cancer Research UK, this is mainly because there is no good evidence that people who have sentinel node biopsy live longer than those who don’t have it.

Sources:
http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/melanoma/treatment/types-of-treatment

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/skin-cancer/incidence#heading-Seven

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-melanoma/detailedguide/melanoma-skin-cancer-treating-surgery

http://www.bad.org.uk/shared/get-file.ashx?id=810&itemtype=document

http://www.webmd.com/melanoma-skin-cancer/metastatic-melanoma#3-7

http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/sentinel-node-biopsy/basics/results/prc-20013550

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/melanoma/diagnosis/further-tests-for-melanoma

Share this post:
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Keep your skin healthy and find skin cancer early.

Peace of mind with an accurate risk indication.

Immediate response based on machine learning technology.

Find skin cancer early. It can save your life.

More about this topic:

Melanoma: The current situation in New Zealand

New Zealand has, together with Australia, the highest melanoma incidence in the world. The combination of skin type and UV impact from the sun put the inhibitors of New Zealand at high risk. So let’s take a closer look at the current melanoma situation in NZ.

New Zealand Partnership Finds 60 Skin Cancers in First Two Months

Accuro Insurance, a New Zealand owned and operated health insurance provider, rolled out a new membership benefits programme for its members in December of 2017. The long-standing benefit program has seen Accuro’s members gaining access to everything from dentists to health foods. The newest partnership has produced a potentially life-saving result far closer to home than ever expected.  

How to keep a healthy skin in the summer

In most parts of Europe, people are currently enjoying plenty of sunshine as the summer is coming closer. But the sun hasn’t shown its full potential yet. So, how can you enjoy the heartfully warm days while keeping your skin healthy? Here are five tips on how to keep a healthy skin in the summer, without missing out on the pleasures of sunlight.

What melanoma moles look like

What melanoma moles look like

Melanoma is the most dangerous (and potentially deadly) form of skin cancer. That’s why it is so important to detect the early signs. When found early, there are treatment options in most cases. So what melanoma moles look like? Let’s take a closer look.