Any person with a lesion suspicious of melanoma should be referred promptly by the primary care team for further assessment. Excision of a suspicious lesion is performed as a full-thickness skin biopsy with a 2-5 mm clinical margin of normal skin laterally and with a cuff of sub-dermal fat. This allows diagnosis and decisions regarding further treatment4.
Following diagnosis a thorough physical examination is required to look for the presence of other possible melanomas and to assess the clinical stage of the disease.
Most malignant melanomas are treated entirely with surgical removal. Early stage disease is treated with wide local excision with margins of normal tissue of 1-3 cm4. More advanced disease is difficult to treat and some treatments are intended to be palliative rather than curative. Possible treatments include lymph node dissection, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and interferon therapy6.
Management of patients with malignant melanoma requires a multi-disciplinary team approach including primary care, dermatology, surgery, oncology, histopathology and clinical nurse specialists.
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Complete Guide to Preventing Skin Cancer. We all know enough to fear the name, just as we do the words tumor and malignant. But apart from that, most of us know very little at all about cancer, especially skin cancer in itself. If I were to ask you to tell me about skin cancer right now, what would you say? Apart from the fact that its a cancer on the skin, that is.