If Melanoma is Caught Early, it is Highly Treatable.

Surgery with wide local excision is the main treatment for early melanomas, and may be used as part of the treatment approach for advanced melanomas.

Depending on the depth of the melanoma (or Breslow thickness), the margin of normal tissue surrounding the abnormal lesion varies. This is done after the diagnosis is made. This helps reduce the risk of the cancer returning at the primary site.

Current NCCN Recommendations

After the primary tumor is removed, the area is closed with stitches or sometimes a skin graft is needed to cover the site. This can be done either in the clinic or in the operating room. The tissue removed is sent to pathology for examination and a report is usually complete in 5-7 days.

Breslow Thickness  Margin
Melanoma-in-situ  5 mm
Breslow <1mm  1 cm
Breslow 1.01-2mm  1-2 cm
Breslow 2.01-4mm  2 cm
Breslow >4mm   2 cm