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Be Informed – Early-stage Melanoma Treatment

Detecting melanoma in its early stages is key to beating this type of skin cancer. Cutaneous melanoma may not be the most prevalent type of cancer but is one of the most aggressive with 76,000 new diagnoses every year. Being informed with the latest guidelines can ensure awareness of the treatments available. New guidelines have been published from The American Academy of Dermatology. These guidelines include primary cutaneous melanoma, pregnancy and melanoma. and genetic risks.

Melanoma – Genetic History

Check to see if melanoma runs in your family. If you discover this is the case, the first step is to seek counseling and education, about all the factors of genetic risk. After discussion with a doctor, it may be determined that more formal testing should occur. 

Individuals recommended for genetic counseling include patients diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma with the following factors:

 History in the family with cutaneous melanoma.

 Multiple primary invasive melanomas.

 This disease has impacted three or more immediate family members.

Pregnancy and Melanoma

Focusing on pregnancy and the health of the baby is a mother’s main priority. Some studies state that melanoma is a common skin cancer reported during pregnancy. That said, there are options for treatment.

What Factors to Consider:

 There is no evidence that pregnancy increases the risk of melanoma.

  Pregnancy does not affect a prognosis if melanoma is detected.

 Consult with a physician. Treatment should be based on patient health and the stage of the disease.

 If melanoma is detected, a biopsy with surgical excision would still be the standard care for melanoma treatment.

 Topical therapy or radiation may be an option as second-line therapy if surgery is not possible.

Treating your melanoma is manageable with support and the right resources. Being aware of family history, performing skin checks, and seeking care without delay is key to treating cutaneous melanoma.

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