Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Understanding the different ways to take care of ourselves to prevent this condition can help us keep it at a distance and avoid any of its complications. In the case where an individual is diagnosed with it, understanding the various treatment options is the best bet they have to gain clarity and move towards complete treatment.
Some ways in which the risk of melanoma can be reduced is as follows:
- Avoiding the sun in the middle of the day
In Northern America, the sun’s rays are strongest between the time of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It is best advised to not schedule outdoor activities in this time range. Suntans and sunburns increase the risk of melanoma. In addition to it, exposure to sunlight also means a severe intake of UV radiation.
- Protective clothing
To find protection from the UV radiation, one should cover their skin with dark and tightly woven clothing which helps in covering hands and legs completely. In addition to that, a broad-brimmed hat can be used to protect the face. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays can be helpful.
While sunscreens don’t necessarily screen out all kinds of UV radiation, they are very important in protecting individuals from the sun. A broad-spectrum sunscreen should be used with a factor of at least 15.
The various treatment options present for individuals affected with melanoma are as follows:
This treatment makes use of medications to destroy cancer cells. The medications used here can be administered intravenously, in pill form, or both to ensure that the medicine travels throughout the body. In a procedure called isolated limb perfusion, the blood in a certain region, like in an arm or leg is not allowed to travel anywhere else so that the chemotherapy medicine can have access to the region where melanoma has affected the skin and treat it.
High-powered energy beams such as X-rays are used here to destroy the cancer cells. In some cases, this treatment option is used to relieve the symptoms of melanoma that has spread to other parts of the body. In some other cases, this option may be suggested after the initial surgery.
Specific vulnerabilities of the cancer cells are targeted in this treatment option by specific medication. While treating advanced melanoma, the medications used under this treatment option are dabrafenib (Tafinlar), trametinib (mekinist), and vemurafenib (zelboraf).
In the case that melanoma affects the nearby lymph nodes, the affected nodes would have to be removed by the surgeon. In some cases, treatments would be suggested to be added before and after the surgery also.
Any kind of cancer is terrifying in itself. However, given how serious a condition melanoma can be and the number of complications it causes, it is important to try to prevent the condition from occurring as much as possible. Taking care to prevent the condition can be of help in so many more ways than just preventing melanoma.