Melanoma in Situ in Palm Beach Gardens & Stuart, FL
What is Melanoma in Situ?
Melanoma in situ is the earliest stage of melanoma skin cancer, often referred to as stage 0. With melanoma in situ, the cancer cells are only present in the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). This means that the cancerous cells can likely be removed before they spread to deeper layers of the skin, or worse, other areas of the body. Given that melanoma is a dangerously fast-growing skin cancer, melanoma in situ should be treated promptly in all cases.
How is Melanoma in Situ Treated?
Although melanoma in situ is an early stage of melanoma, treatment is still critical to protecting the skin and the rest of the body from cancer. Typically, melanoma in situ is treated with surgical excision. The cancerous cells will be cut out from the skin, preventing them from spreading any further.
How Much Does Melanoma in Situ Treatment Cost?
The cost of melanoma in situ treatment at Florida Dermatology Specialists can vary depending on the procedures involved and the extent of treatment needed. In most cases, your treatment may be eligible for coverage by health insurance. During your initial consultation, we will develop a personalized treatment plan and assess your insurance coverage to determine the exact cost of treatment that you will be responsible for.
What Can I Expect from Melanoma in Situ Treatment?
Fortunately, melanoma in situ treatment is highly successful, as it effectively addresses melanoma at its earliest stage. Melanoma in situ is highly curable, and with treatment, there is very little risk of recurrence or metastasis. Patients with newly diagnosed melanoma in situ will need to be seen for regular full body skin examinations for the first two years. Having one melanoma in situ puts one at greater risk for a second new one to develop.
Why Choose a Staged Excision for Lentigo Maligna (a Type of Melanoma in Situ)?
Staged excision is a surgical technique that is sometimes used to remove melanoma in situ, sometimes called lentigo maligna when found on sun-damaged skin of the head and neck, which is a type of melanoma skin cancer that has not yet spread beyond the top layer of skin. The goal of staged excision is to remove the cancerous cells while minimizing the impact on healthy tissue and reducing the risk of scarring. This technique also has the lowest recurrence rate for lentigo maligna.
During a staged excision, the surgeon removes the cancerous cells in stages, sending the tissue out for permanent sections to the laboratory and dermatopatholgoist, who examines the tissue under a microscope to ensure that all of the cancerous cells have been removed. If any cancerous cells are found left at the margins, the surgeon will remove another layer of skin and repeat the process until all of the cancerous cells have been removed. Once all of the melanoma cells are gone, the wound is repaired, or reconstructed, with stitches. This process can take place over a few days.
Staged excision may be a good option for people who have melanoma in situ that is located in a sensitive area, such as the face or hands, or for those who have had previous skin cancer or have a high risk of developing it again. It may also be a good choice for people who want to minimize scarring or preserve as much healthy tissue as possible.
Dr. Krathen is one of only a few local dermatoloigsts who perform staged excision for lentigo maligna type of melanoma in situ.
Why Choose Florida Dermatology Specialists for Melanoma in Situ Treatment?
Florida Dermatology Specialists is the premier practice for melanoma in situ treatment, as our team of dermatologists and dermatologic surgeons specialize in patient-focused skin cancer diagnosis and treatment. Led by Dr. Richard Krathen, board-certified Dermatologist, board-certified Micrographic Dermatologic Surgeon, and fellowship-trained Mohs Surgeon, we offer the very best in melanoma in situ treatments to provide patients with safe and effective care. First degree relatives of melanoma patients should have annual screening skin examinations. At times, genetic screening and counseling may be advised for certain patients.
If you are ready to begin melanoma in situ treatment at Florida Dermatology Specialists, contact us today to schedule your initial consultation. With offices in Palm Beach Gardens and Stuart, we welcome residents of Juno Beach, Okeechobee and Tequesta, Florida.