Specializing in Minimally Invasive Surgery
We specialize in minimally
invasive surgery including:

Reflux Surgery
Esophageal Myotomy for Achalasia

General Surgical service for
treatment of the following:

Anorectal Disease
Breast Disease
Dialysis Access
Endocrine Disease
Gastrointestinal Disease
Lower Extremity Venous Disease
Skin Cancer
Trauma Surgery
Pediatric Surgery

McLeod Health

Skin Cancer

What is melanoma?
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Fortunately, it is also the least common.

What does melanoma look like?
Melanoma usually presents as a pigmented (or dark) skin lesion. 30% of melanomas arise at an existing mole. Melanoma can also develop at an area of previously normal skin (70% of cases).
Characteristics that are suspicious include:
• Asymmetry of lesion
• Border irregularity
• Color variation
• Diameter greater than 6 milimeters, or if the lesion is increasing in size.
Any lesion that is changing should be examined by an experienced doctor.

What causes melanoma?
Sun exposure is the biggest risk factor in the development of melanoma. Tanning beds are especially dangerous. Genetics play a major role in the development of melanoma. People with a family history are at a much greater risk.

How is melanoma diagnosed?
Any lesion that is remotely suspicious needs a biopsy.

How is melanoma treated?
The lesion needs to be removed in its entirety. A border of surrounding normal tissue is also removed. The depth of the melanoma, as well as other characteristics of the lesion, determines how much of a margin of normal tissue needs to be removed. These characteristics also determine whether the lymph nodes need to be examined. This is usually performed as a "sentinel lymph node biopsy". This means that just a few nodes are removed, rather than removing all the lymph nodes in the area.

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