Black Skin Cancer – Treatment
Black skin cancer can be treated with various methods. Often, doctors combine several skin care therapies.
After the operation, drugs are administered to attack the cells of the black skin cancer.
After the operation, drugs are administered to attack the cells of the black skin cancer. It is important in which stage the cancer is located and whether he has already formed metastases, for example.
THE TOPIC INDEX
The choice of treatment depends on how big the melanoma is, how deep it has penetrated the skin and whether it has already metastasized to the lymph nodes or distant metastases in other organs. Often the cancer cells settle in the liver, lungs, brain and bones.
BLACK SKIN CANCER: TREATMENT BY SURGERY
The number one black skin cancer therapy is surgery. The surgeon tries to cut out the melanoma as completely as possible. He also removes some tissue around the skin tumor, so that no cancer cells remain behind, which could then spread (safety distance).
Sometimes black skin cancer means: remove lymph nodes! This is necessary if the black skin cancer has already penetrated deeper into the skin. The surgeon first removes the nearest lymph node, the so-called sentinel lymph node. A pathologist analyzes it for the presence of cancer cells. If malignant cells are detectable, the cancer has already migrated to the lymph nodes and perhaps also to other organs. Then a black skin cancer operation is no longer sufficient.
BLACK SKIN CANCER: TREATMENT AFTER SURGERY
After surgery, various treatments may be considered. The key is whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and may have formed distant metastases in other organs, such as the liver, lungs, bones, and brain.
In addition to the surgery, cancer physicians use the following therapies – depending on the stage and spread:
Interferon alpha: For some patients, the drug Interferon alpha; Interferon therapy stimulates the immune system to attack remaining cancer cells.
Radiation therapy (radiotherapy): It works with high-energy rays that destroy remaining cancerous tissue; radiotherapy helps with advanced, metastatic or inoperable melanoma.
Immunotherapy: It does not start with the cancer cells themselves but with the immune system. Immunotherapy aims to strengthen the body’s defenses so that the immune cells attack and eliminate the tumor cells. There are now a few new drugs against malignant melanoma: ipilimumab, pembrolizumab and nivolumab
Targeted treatment: The active ingredients are targeted against a specific trait of the cancer cells, the BRAF mutation. Authorized substances are the BRAF inhibitors vemurafenib and dabrafenib. The effectiveness of both substances seems even higher when combined with another drug, the so-called MEK inhibitor. Patients without BRAF mutation do not benefit from the personalized treatment.
Skin cancer chemotherapy: cell toxins – so-called cytostatic drugs – do not act locally as radiotherapy, but destroy cancer cells throughout the body; due to the newly approved drugs, chemotherapy has lost importance; Cytostatic agents such as dacarbazine, temozolomide or paclitaxel are used in advanced and metastatic melanoma.
Hyperthermia: It works with heat. There are several methods of warming, such as whole body hyperthermia in black skin cancer. The entire body is quickly brought to high temperatures. However, it is not a standard procedure in cancer medicine, scientists continue to research the effectiveness.
Psychooncology: Psychotherapeutic procedures are now an integral part of cancer medicine, because the cancer affects not only the body, but also the psyche. It’s about strengthening the soul so patients can better manage their illness. Psycho-oncology works with relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson or autogenic training. Also mindfulness training, art or music therapy can be helpful.
BLACK SKIN CANCER: CHANCES OF RECOVERY
The chances of a cure for black skin cancer have increased in recent years. Not only because of the improved skin cancer screening, but also new therapies, for example the immunotherapy. For example, more than 90 percent of all melanoma patients still live after five years.