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Melanoma Survivor? The Importance Of Multi-Faceted Skin Monitoring & A Breakthrough In Melanoma Treatment

If you were diagnosed with melanoma at any time in your life and had the cancerous skin lesion(s) removed before the cancer spread and ravaged your overall health, then you likely know just how important it is to keep an eye on the condition of your skin to catch any new cancerous lesions early on. However, you may just occasionally check your skin and not have a regularly scheduled skin-monitoring plan in place. New research has determined just how and when new melanoma lesions are typically detected, and you can use this research to form your own skin monitoring plan.

Read on to learn what the research has determined is the best approach for skin monitoring after experiencing melanoma to catch recurrences early along with a new breakthrough in melanoma treatment. 

Multifaceted Skin Monitoring Important for Melanoma Survivors

A new study performed by researchers from both Thomas Jefferson University and the University of North Carolina revealed just how second occurrences of melanoma were initially detected in those who had suffered it in the past. The study revealed that 40 percent of those who experienced a recurrence of melanoma detected it themselves when they noticed new skin lesions or systemic symptoms, such as coughing blood or a seizure. 

However, 30 percent of recurrences were spotted by the sufferers' dermatologists during their regular visits post melanoma surgery, and 26 percent were detected during diagnostic imaging, such as CT scans. 

What does this mean for you? It is important to check your skin for new melanoma lesions thoroughly at least once a month and report any unusual skin symptoms to your dermatologist immediately. Also, if you have fallen out of the habit of visiting your dermatologist often for routine cancer screenings and orders for regular diagnostic imaging, it is also important to begin obtaining those vital professional screenings again. 

Speak with your dermatologist about setting up a melanoma screening schedule that is best for you and stick with it to catch recurrences of the disease in their tracks before the cancer spreads. 

New Breakthrough in Melanoma Research and Treatment

Dermatologists have begun offering more and more options for treating early stage melanoma, including offering mohs surgery that was once only used to remove basal and squamous cell carcinomas to people with some specific types of melanoma. Now, researchers at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation have made new discoveries about how melanoma spreads throughout the body. By determining when the gene makes a "switch" that causes it to spread and invade body tissues, they suspect that they will soon find a medication that can prevent this switch and keep melanoma from spreading. 

While a melanoma medication is not yet on the market, the researchers are already conducting pre-clinical trials on medications they suspect may turn off this "switch." The next step will be clinical trials, which are typically open to current sufferers of melanoma on a regulated basis, and then a possible melanoma medication on the market. 

If you are a melanoma survivor, then you likely know that there is a chance you will have a recurrence of the invasive skin cancer. Be sure to form a regular skin inspection plan with your dermatologist and spread the good news that a new treatment for melanoma may soon be emerging. To find out more, contact a business like Dermatology Surgery Center.