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Health Tip: Is it Skin Cancer?

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Melanoma related image Photo: Getty Images

Once you have been diagnosed with a malignant mole, the doctor will determine the best course for treatment. According to a LifeScript.com article, treatment options for melanoma are controversial, because they are so toxic and sometimes have a low success rate, as stated by a doctor interviewed for the article.

Treatment may include surgery, radiation, immunotherapy, and drug therapy:
Yervoy (ipilimumab) – a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug to treat melanoma that is determined inoperable, or has spread to other areas of the body.

Dacarbazine (DTIC) – Is the only FDA-approved chemotherapy for the treatment of melanoma.
Interferon - is an FDA-approved drug that typically is given after surgery to decrease the risk of cancer returning, and to boost the immune system. It can make patients feel like they have the flu.
B-RAF Inhibitor – is a drug in clinical trials (not approved yet), that is showing promise at being able to target a specific-type of tumor cells with low side-effects.

Melanoma can move quickly, so it’s important to get it treated immediately. If you want to get a second opinion on the outcome following having a mole removed, then is the time to do so. If treated early, and effectively, melanoma could possibly be cured. In more severe cases, it’s still important to treat, but the prognosis could be more challenging.

Do you have a question about skin conditions? Check out EmpowHER’s pages. Sign-up, post a question, share your story, connect with other women in our groups and community, and feel EmpowHERed!

LifeScript.com: 13 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Melanoma
EmpowHER: Skin Cancer: Don’t Be Scared, Be Well Informed, Take Our Quiz

Christine Jeffries is a writer/editor for work and at heart, and lives in a home of testosterone with her husband and two sons. Christine is interested in women’s health and promoting strong women.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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