Treatment of malignant melanoma is primarily by surgical excision. The cancerous skin cells and some normal tissue that surrounds the cancer are removed.
The volume of tissue removed depends on the depth through which the melanoma has grown. Melanoma may spread to adjacent lymph nodes necessitating their removal. Such patients may benefit from treatment with interferon after surgery.
Treatment is difficult in cases where the cancer has spread beyond the skin and adjacent lymph nodes to other organs. A total cure may not be possible in such a situation. However, the following therapies are employed for severe cases of Melanoma.
(1) Chemotherapy: Drugs are used to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by preventing them from dividing.
(2) Immunotherapy: Drugs like interferon or interleukin which can strengthen the immune system
(3) Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment where high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation are used to kill cancer cells or prevent them from growing.