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Melanoma is by far the most serious and virulent form of common skin cancer that develops in the cells that produce melanin (pigmentation) in the skin. If the melanoma is invasive and has spread to blood vessels beneath the epidermis, it can spread rapidly to internal organs and the lymphatic system, making early detection critical for successful treatment.


Screening For Melanoma

  • Melanoma often looks like a mole or develops from an existing mole on the skin that can appear anywhere on the body.

  • Total Body Skin Photography utilizing a true state-of-the-art system called DermEngine will allow us to follow and discover any changes in your moles. You will also have access to these photos using the proprietary mobile app. Artificial Intelligence is evolving using the data from the serial photographs.

  • Utilizing non-invasive technologies such as RCM (Reflectance Confocal Microscopy) and Tape Stripping (DermTech) for RNA analysis may avoid the need for invasive and potentially scarring biopsies. 

  • Regular self-examination is essential, with particular attention to slight changes in the skin. The American Academy of Dermatology has developed the ABCDE guide for assessment, which can be found here.

  • It is important to look out for large brown spots of dark lesions that change, grow darker, grow in size, appear to be asymmetrical, itch, bleed, heal, and re-open.

  • Melanoma must be diagnosed by a dermatologist with a biopsy.


How To Detect Melanoma In Its Early Stages

If detected early, thinner melanoma cancers can have survival rates in the 90-100-percentile range due to a lower rate of metastasis. The importance of thorough skin screening and monitoring slight lesion changes cannot be overstated. While personal awareness and skin self-examination is an important first line of defense, a total body exam by an accredited dermatologist is critical.

Total Body Skin Examinations require extensive time and a photographic baseline without which change cannot be determined. Whether the technology is DermEngine, Dermspectra, or other technologies there is no way to map and remember their detailed appearance without their use. 


Dermoscopy is the best analytic tool at this time, even as Artificial Intelligence is evolving, and is needed for EACH and EVERY lesion. Selecting a pigmented lesion by eye and then using Dermoscopy for that spot creates a Selection Bias.  The time taken for a total body Dermoscopy is lengthy and requires enormous experience to perform accurately and completely. Once a lesion is identified by the Dermatologist or by the patient who is often intuitively skilled at recognizing change or “new-ness” the lesion may be analyzed not only with the traditional cutting/scarring methods but with tools such as tape stripping and Reflectance Confocal Microscopy. These tools reduce or avoid scarring and unnecessary biopsies as much as possible. 


The removal of a pigmented lesion muct be in total with few exceptions and the extensive removal that may be needed later may be done with a minimum of pain and with accuracy through the careful use of these tools


How To Prevent Melanoma


  • Stay out of the sun during peak hours (10 am to 4 pm), cover the body with protective clothing, especially the arms and the legs, and wear a hat and sunglasses.

  • Wear sunscreen year-round with a high SPF. Look for products that use the term “broad spectrum” that work against UVA and UVB rays.

  • Self-check your skin monthly and contact your dermatologist if there are any changes.

  • Schedule regular skin examinations. Anyone with a family history of skin cancer, a history of blistering sunburns, an incidence of 25 moles or more on the body, or who are on medications that can compromise the immune system, should have an annual eye exam and appointment with a dermatologist.

  • Maintain a regular antioxidant treatment such as serums, creams, and pills such as Sunisdin and Heliocare that work to combat free radical damage in the skin.


Common Treatments For Melanoma

At Kline Dermatology, we offer treatments to cure melanoma cancer. Following are some of the treatments available:


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