Treatment for Melanoma in Vienna VA.
Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer, primarily caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light. Melanoma should be treated by a dermatologist, who is an expert in skin cancer. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to providing the best outcome when you have melanoma.
What You Need to Know about Melanoma
Melanoma is caused by cancer developing in a specific type of cell called a melanocyte. Melanocytes are the cells responsible for skin color. There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing melanoma. These include:
- Having fair skin and freckles
- Having light hair and eyes
- Having a family history of melanoma
- Excessive sun exposure without sunscreen
There are steps you can take to decrease your risk of developing skin cancers, including melanoma. Remember to:
- Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 every day
- Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 if you are outside for long periods
- Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 if you have fair skin and burn easily
- Wear protective clothing including a hat and sunglasses
- Try to stay out of the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM, when ultraviolet rays are the most harmful
If you are at high risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, it’s important to visit your dermatologist at least once each year for a skin examination. If you have any abnormal areas of skin, your dermatologist may want to take a small sample of tissue for biopsy.
If you are diagnosed with melanoma, because of the aggressive nature of the skin condition, treatment is also aggressive and may include:
- Surgical excision of the cancerous tissue
- Radiation treatment to kill the cancerous cells
- Chemotherapy to kill the cancerous cells
- Mohs micrographic surgery to remove the cancer layer-by-layer
- Medicated lotions or creams to help your body fight the skin cancer
What You Need to Do
To find out more about the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer, call Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery Group of Northern Virginia, PLLC at (703) 938-5700 today.