Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Melanoma is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes. Melanocytes are the cells that make the pigment melanin that gives the skin its natural colour. This type of skin cancer can be more serious than other forms of skin cancer because it may spread to other parts of the body and cause death of the patient who is suffering from this disease. Melanoma occurs when melanocytes become malignant. Melanoma may begin in a mole which is a non-cancerous growth on the skin. Melanoma is one of the most common skin cancers.
For more information on Melanoma and its Signs and Symptoms please check out previous blog: “Melanoma Is The Most Common Type of Skin Cancer Caused Due To Sun Exposure”.
Melanoma Prognosis/ Life Expectancy
Survival rate of the patients who are suffering from Melanoma depend upon the stage of cancer and treatment given to them. Patients with Stage I can be as good as cured. A cure is also possible in most cases in Stage II cancer patients. With treatment, patients in Stage I have an approximate 95% chance of surviving beyond five years and an 88% chance of passing ten years. Stage II is associated with a 77-79% and 64% survival rate at five and ten years respectively. In stages III and IV when the cancer has spread to different parts of the body, survival rates fall sharply. With Stage III, 29-69% of patients live more than fifth year and only 15-63% of patients survive over ten years. Once the cancer reaches Stage IV, there is only a 7-19% chance of making it to five years.
Listed below are some clinical trials investigating new treatments for Melanoma.
- Sorafenib Tamoxifen and Cisplatin in Treating Patients With High-Risk Stage III Melanoma
- Sunitinib Tamoxifen and Cisplatin in Treating Patients With High-Risk Ocular Melanoma
- Dendritic Cells (White Blood Cells) Vaccination for Advanced Melanoma