What is the treatment for melanoma?
In general, melanoma is treated by surgery alone. Doctors have learned that surgery does not need to be as extensive as was thought years ago. When treating many early melanomas, for instance, surgeons only remove 1 centimeter (less than ½ inch) of the normal tissue around the melanoma. Deeper and more advanced cancers may need more extensive surgery.
Depending on various considerations (tumor thickness, body location, age, etc.), the removal of nearby lymph nodes may be recommended. For advanced disease, such as when the melanoma has spread to other parts of the body, treatments like immunotherapy or chemotherapy are sometimes recommended. Many of these treatments are still experimental and, for that reason, their use may be limited to patients willing to participate in a research study.
An Internet search will name a variety of home remedies and natural products for the treatment of skin cancers, including melanoma. These include the usual topical and systemic antioxidants and naturopathic immune stimulators. There is no scientific data supporting any of these, and their use may lead to unnecessary delay in better established treatments, possibly with tragic results.