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Meridian Surgery Center
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Melanoma can arise from existing moles, or from non-mole-bearing skin. Patients with many large, dark moles are at a greater risk of developing melanoma.
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What is MELANOMA?
Melanoma is a skin cancer that is notoriously unpredictable and potentially fatal. It is frequently associated with excessive sun exposure at a young age or excessive sun exposure over a lifetime. Most patients who are cured of melanoma pursue surgery as part of their care.
Why Does It Matter?
Because moles can be tricky, and it's best to assess your risks. Melanoma can arise from existing moles, or from non-mole-bearing skin. Patients with many large, dark moles are at a greater risk of developing melanoma. The cancer frequently strikes blond haired and blue eyed, fair skinned Caucasians who have had extensive sun exposure in the teen and preteen era of their life. It is becoming epidemic among young women who are using tanning booths.
What Do I Need To Do About It?
An experienced surgeon can evaluate the site for the type of operation that will effectively remove the melanoma and determine if the cancer has spread elsewhere.Where Can I Get Help?
At Meridian Surgery Center, we have 25 years of experience caring for patients with melanoma. Specializing in sentinel lymph node biopsy and wide excision of melanoma, we operate in an outpatient setting, leading to lower costs, less risk of wound infections, and more convenience for our patients.
Why Should I Pursue Surgery Now?
Many times melanoma is treated with an excision that is not wide enough or without evaluation of the sentinel lymph nodes. These steps are missed often for the sake of expediency or avoiding anesthetic. For melanomas greater than 0.8 millimeters in depth, it's important to pursue wide excision and sentinel lymph node evaluation.
Wondering what's up with your melanoma? Please call Meridian Surgery Center for an appointment today!
ABC's of Melanoma: Characteristics of an abnormal mole:
What should a surgeon do?
A surgeon should pursue wide excision of the melanoma to ensure the best possible result.
Melanoma can create satellite areas in the skin surrounding the original mole. It can also set up potato-like roots deep within the fat and below the original mole; so wide and deep excision to the underlying muscle need to be performed. For many areas of the body, it's best to receive anesthesia for this surgery.
It's also important for the surgeon to evaluate the possible spread of the melanoma. This involves an operation to search for a sentinel lymph node, which is the first location separate from the melanoma site where the cancer would spread. An experienced surgeon can find this lymph node using a radioactive tracer technique called a sentinel lymph node biopsy.
Meridian Surgery Center is conveniently located in the heart of Pierce County, just south of Seattle and east of Tacoma, in the city of Puyallup, WA.