Melanoma originates from pigment producing cells of the skin. Although melanoma is less common than its non-melanoma counterpart, it is much more aggressive, metastasizes early and is thus termed as one of the most malignant types of cancer in humans. In Switzerland, every tenth person affected by skin cancer is diagnosed with melanoma, accounting for about 2,700 cases per year. The number of newly diagnosed melanoma cases has more than doubled in the last decades. The reasons for this are many, including chronic sun exposure and fair skin type. Similar to non-melanoma cancer, melanoma is increasingly being discovered in young adults, therefore caution is necessary even in this group. Men are more frequently affected than women.
Melanoma typically appears as a brown or black, rapidly growing spot or lump. This rapid evolution attracts the attention of those affected or the people around them and is often the first step that leads them to a physician. Rarely melanoma can develop as a fleshy, non-pigmented, reddish lump in individuals with fair skin type. Melanoma cells settle off early to form metastases in other organs. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment is important to ensure good chances of survival.
With skin cancer, the first line therapy is the surgical removal of the respective tumor. Depending on the case, further interventions such as sentinel lymph node biopsy may be indicated. Together with my team, I will personally ensure that your treatment complies with the latest recommendations and guidelines and that you stay in the best of health.