Melanoma is known to the most serious, but not the most common type of skin cancer. It is a kind of cancer that grows in melanocytes, which are the skin’s pigment cells. Melanocytes consist of the cells which generate the pigment melanin through which the skin, eyes and hair gets their respective colors. Melanoma can sometimes be graver than any other kind of skin cancer, owing to its ability to spread to other parts of the body and result in serious illness and might prove to be fatal. According to survey research done on melanoma therapeutics market, approximately 50,000 new melanoma cancer cases are detected annually in the United States. Since in majority cases, symptoms of melanoma start to appear on the skin, patients often themselves detect the condition. Early determining and diagnosis of melanoma is vital. When diagnosed at initial stage, melanomas are cured with the help of comparatively minor surgery. Furthermore, melanoma cancers are segmented into stage 0, i.e., melanoma in Situ, Stage I, Stage II, Stage III and Stage IV.
Melanomas are usually categorized into three types:
- Mucosal Melanoma – it can happen in any of the mucous membrane present in the body, such as throat, nasal passage, mouth, anus or vagina.
- Cutaneous Melanoma – it is the most common type of melanoma and it characterized into four ways – Nodular, Acral Lentiginous, Superficial Spreading, and Lentigo Maligna.
- Ocular Melanoma – it is a rarely occurring cancer of the eye.
Melanoma therapeutics include biological therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, surgery and several other newly developed therapies.
- Surgery – one of the prime treatment options in most of the melanoma cases and generally treats cancer that are at the early stage.
- Immunotherapy – medicines are used to energize and stimulate a patient’s own immune system to determine and kill the cancer cells in more effective manner. There are various types of immunotherapy.
- Targeted therapy – this treatment is used to focus of the particularly infected cells. Drugs used in targeted therapy function in a different manner as compared to drugs used in chemotherapy. These drugs work well when chemotherapy fails to work. However, there are severe side effects associated with these.
- Chemotherapy – the drugs used in this treatment directly kill the cancer cells. The drugs are generally injected into a vein of the patient or consumed orally in the form of a pill. These drugs channel through the bloodstream to the entire body and kill the cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy – this therapy makes use of particles or extremely high levels of energy rays in order to destroy the cancer cells.
Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.