Cleveland Clinic’s cancer program is ranked No. 7 in the nation and top-ranked in Ohio. Our dermatology and plastic surgery program is one of the largest such practices in the nation and is regarded as a leader in patient care and clinical research.
Cleveland Clinic’s Melanoma Program consists of a multidisciplinary team of pathologists, dermatologists, surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, and others who work together to develop the optimal treatment plan for each patient. This means that in addition to recommending a treatment most likely to result in a cure, they consider the option that will have the least effect on important body functions and appearance.
As a result, with only a single appointment, patients not only get the highest standard of care but members of a team that are highly involved in all areas of research for melanoma. This means state-of-the-art treatments, bringing hope to those who previously had no treatment options for their cancers.
Outcomes of melanoma patients at Cleveland Clinic compare favorably with data published nationally, and in some stages patients were found to have a better survival rate than that documented in multicenter studies.
We also offer patients reconstructive surgery options for those with large or complex melanoma removals.
What We Treat
Prevention and Diagnosis
While melanoma makes up less than 2 percent of all skin cancers, it is responsible for the majority of skin cancer-related deaths. That’s why it is critical to see a physician at the first sign of any abnormality in your skin. Melanoma is highly curable when caught early.
- The Facts About Melanoma
- Intraocular Melanoma
- Sun Exposure & Skin Cancer
- Skin Self-exam
- Protecting Yourself from Sun Damage
The stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis is a primary factor in determining skin cancer or melanoma treatment. Surgery is used to treat many types of skin cancer and is a standard treatment for melanoma.
If the melanoma is in an early stage, it may be removed during the biopsy or through surgery that removes the cancer along with some healthy-looking skin around it. In some cases, this is the only treatment that is needed.
In cases where the melanoma has spread beyond the skin to the neighboring lymph nodes or beyond, additional treatments may be needed. These could include:
- Lymphadenectomy. If melanoma has spread to nearby lymph nodes, this surgery removes the affected nodes.
- Metastectomy. Removal of single isolated deposits of melanoma from organs.
- Chemotherapy. This uses drugs to kill the cancer cells. Historically, chemotherapy was used to treat metastatic or stage IV melanoma, but is now considered for third line therapy.
- Radiation Therapy. This uses X-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
- Biological Therapy or Immunotherapy. This treatment helps the patient’s immune system fight the cancer.
- Targeted Therapy. Targeted therapy drugs are technically considered chemotherapy, but are a separate class that interferes with the cancers internal growth pathway. Clinical trials can test many types of treatments such as new drugs, new surgical techniques or radiation therapy, new combinations of treatments, or new methods. The goal of the research is to find better ways to treat cancer.
- Mohs Surgery. This surgery removes skin cancer while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible, critical in carcinomas near the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, feet and genitals.
For Additional Information
Support & Services
In addition to offering state of the art diagnostic techniques and melanoma treatment methods, our specialists also offer an array of resources that can help patients cope with the demands of cancer. Patients are encouraged to take advantage of these resources to ease the burden of managing cancer.
Clinical Trials & Research
Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center clinical trials offer patients important treatment options and access to the latest treatments and procedures resulting from cancer research.
Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center is committed to working with you to provide the best care for your patients. Our team is also dedicated to the training and education of medical professionals to advance cancer care and research.