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Melanoma Treatment

The Melanoma Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center

To find melanoma early, when it is most treatable, it is important to examine your skin on a regular basis, and become familiar with moles and other skin conditions, in order to better identify changes.

Skin Cancer Screenings

The Melanoma Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center regularly holds skin screening programs and offers a range of services to help you learn how to reduce your cancer risk or to detect skin cancer at its most treatable stage. To find out about the next scheduled screening at The Melanoma Center or to learn more about our program, please call Moira Davis, our Patient Navigator, at (973) 322-6506.

Treatment for Melanoma

Once a melanoma has been diagnosed, a process called staging provides important information about the extent of the cancer and its anticipated response to treatment. Staging is also useful for estimating prognosis.

Melanoma Skin Cancer Stages

Generally, lower stage cancers have a better outlook for cure or long-term survival, but other factors may also affect prognosis. The stages of melanoma range from stage 0, where the melanoma is confined to the top layers of the skin, to stage IV, where the melanoma has spread beyond the original area of the skin and nearby lymph nodes to other organs, distant areas of the skin or distant lymph nodes.

Treating Melanoma Skin Cancer

Treatment of melanoma will depend on the stage of the cancer and other factors.

Treatment options might include:

  • Surgery. This is the main treatment option for most melanomas, and may cure early-stage melanomas.
  • Immunotherapy. This is the use of medicines to stimulate a person’s own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells.
  • Targeted therapy. These drugs target melanoma cells that have specific gene changes. They differ from standard chemotherapy drugs, which attack any quickly dividing cells.
  • Chemotherapy. These drugs kill cancer cells, and are either injected into a vein or taken as a pill.
  • Radiation therapy. This type of therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is typically used only if surgery is not an option.

Early-stage melanomas can often be treated with surgery alone, but more complex, advanced cancers typically require other treatments or a combination of treatments.

Melanoma Treatment Team

The team of healthcare providers that treat melanoma may include:

  • A dermatologist, who specializes in treating skin diseases.
  • A surgical oncologist, who provides surgical treatment of melanoma.
  • A medical oncologist, who treats melanoma with immunotherapy, targeted therapy or chemotherapy.
  • A radiation oncologist, who provides radiation therapy, if needed.

The Melanoma Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center

The Melanoma Center offers a multidisciplinary approach to caring for individuals with melanoma. Our team consists of dermatologists, surgical oncologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, as well as a dedicated nurse navigator to assist with appointment scheduling and coordination. At the Melanoma Center, we are focused on providing patients with high-quality screening and treatment, as well as access to clinical trials.