Central Florida Surgical Specialists
Francisco R. Halili, MD, FACS
General Surgery located in Kissimmee, FL
Melanoma is skin cancer that can spread to other areas of your body. It’s the most dangerous form of skin cancer and can be deadly. If you have a suspicious-looking spot on your skin, general surgeon Francisco Halili, MD, FACS, and his team can help. At Central Florida Surgical Specialists in Kissimmee, Florida, they use advanced equipment and techniques to remove melanomas and prevent serious complications. Schedule an appointment with Central Florida Surgical Specialists by phone today.
What is melanoma?
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that often develops in pigmented skin cells. It can also form in your internal organs or eyes, though this is rare.
Anybody can develop melanoma, but your risk increases with unprotected ultraviolet exposure from sunlight or tanning beds. Early detection and treatment of melanoma saves lives.
What does melanoma look like?
Melanoma is usually a darker pigmented area of the skin. It can develop anywhere on your body, is abnormal in appearance, and might contain:
- Irregular borders
- Asymmetrical shapes
- Changes in color
- Increases in diameter
- An evolving appearance
- A painful or itchy mole
- A mole that bleeds
If you have a mole that changes its shape, color, texture, or size, Dr. Halili evaluates or removes it to rule out or confirm a melanoma diagnosis.
What are the risk factors for melanoma?
The following factors increase your risk of developing melanoma:
- A history of sunburn
- Having fair skin
- Excessive ultraviolet exposure
- A family history of melanoma
- A weak immune system
- Having many moles
Keep an eye on suspicious-looking skin spots. When in doubt about whether they’re cancerous, Dr. Halili removes them for you.
How is melanoma diagnosed and treated?
To diagnose and treat melanomas, Dr. Halili examines the affected skin and takes a biopsy or removes the entire mole for lab analysis. He may use one or more of the following melanoma treatments:
Sometimes surgically removing melanoma and some tissue around it is all that’s needed to get rid of cancer.
Dr. Halili uses a local anesthetic so you don’t feel pain during the procedure. He might use an incision to remove the melanoma or Mohs surgery to get rid of cancer one skin layer at a time.
Lymphadenectomy is surgical removal of your lymph nodes. It might be necessary if melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes.
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that destroys cancer cells. Dr. Halili may recommend it in addition to melanoma removal if your cancer has spread. He refers you to a qualified oncologist in your area.
Radiation therapy uses X-rays or other high-energy beams to destroy cancer cells. It’s often used in combination with lymph node removal to treat more advanced melanoma stages.
Other cancer treatments
Additional cancer treatments for melanoma include targeted therapy and biological therapies that boost your immune system to fight cancer.
Don’t wait to seek treatment for an abnormal mole until it spreads to other areas of your body. Schedule a skin evaluation with Central Florida Surgical Specialists by phone today.