Melanoma Excision

Melanoma Excision

Home  >  Medical Dermatology  >  Melanoma Excision

Have Cancerous Skin Growths Removed in St. Louis

If you need melanoma excision in St. Louis, MO, visit our highly skilled team of physicians. We have specialized expertise in diagnosing and treating melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer. If melanoma is caught and treated early, it is almost always curable. Therefore, seeking the help of an experienced dermatologist is an ideal way to ensure that you get the dermatology services and care you deserve. If it is not caught early, melanoma becomes challenging to treat—and can even be fatal.

What is Melanoma?

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives, though these cancers are usually basal cell carcinoma and/or squamous cell carcinoma. The type of cancer a person gets depends on which cells begin to develop abnormally.

Melanoma is less common than cancer of the basal or squamous cells, but it is considered far more dangerous because it can rapidly spread to other parts of the body.

Because melanomas develop in melanocytes—which are pigment-producing cells in the skin—the lesions and tumors can look like new, dark-colored moles. They can also arise from existing moles. That’s why it’s crucial that you and your dermatologist regularly check your skin to detect any potential melanoma early, when it is more treatable via melanoma excision.

You should see your doctor immediately if you develop a multicolored mole with jagged, uneven borders or notice an existing mole change in size, shape, or color. Melanomas can occur on any part of the body.

How Does Melanoma Excision Work?

We can generally treat and cure thin melanomas (melanoma in situ), which haven’t extended deep into the tissue, with a simple surgery. Melanoma excision involves numbing the skin and cutting out the tumor, along with a margin of normal skin at the edges. The wound is stitched closed. If a deeper melanoma is confirmed by biopsy (invasive melanoma), we will perform a wider melanoma excision surgery.

More skin will be cut away from the area around the melanoma. In all cases of melanoma excision, the tissue will be looked at under a microscope to ensure that no cancer cells are left in the skin. In addition, as with any skin surgery, melanoma excision will leave a scar.

Deeper and more advanced cancers (metastatic melanomas) may need more extensive melanoma excision, as well as treatments such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. You can discuss these options in more detail with your doctor and cancer specialist.

Is Melanoma Excision the Same as Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is a specific type of excision surgery that involves specially trained physicians—Mohs surgeons—removing thin layers of tissue and scrutinizing them under a microscope right away to determine whether and where cancer cells are present. This treatment is incredibly precise and has an excellent cure rate, but is not an option in every case. Your dermatologist can work with you to determine what type of procedure would be best for your specific tumor.