4: Malignant Melanoma

I. Intro and hello

II. Rohit Sharma, MD, FACS

III. Sunscreens – thorough explanation of the ins/outs of sprays, lotions, creams for cancer prevention; rash guard clothing; wide brimmed hats; collective measures.

IV. Moles and blemishes: bad and good.

V. Interpreting the biopsy report

VI. Tumor thickness and surgical margins

VII. Lymph nodes and “Sentinel lymph node biopsy.”

VIII. Horizontal and vertical growth phases; four types of melanoma.

IX. How to talk skin with your General Practice Physician or Clinician.

X. Staging the disease: Local, Regional, Metastatic.

XI. Impact and utilization of Immunotherapy & Targeted Therapies.

XII. Predicted survival of different Melanoma stages

XIII. How do I self-advocate?

XIV. Clinical Trials explained

XV. Closing and Thank you

Key takeaways:

1. Ounce of prevention… learn your sunscreen options, how they complement one another, and use them from childhood on!

2. Moles that are uniform and unchanging are safer; moles that are irregular and changing are more dangerous

3. Thicker and ulcerated melanomas are more problematic

4. In certain patients, harvesting a sentinel lymph node gives important prognostic and treatment-related information.

5. Be clear and upfront with your doctor about your moles and blemishes

6. New types of treatments exist that are powerful and important.

7. Stick with established, well-known websites (such as American Cancer Society) when starting your self-education on Melanoma

8. Clinical Trials are fundamental to the advancement of Medicine, but they may or may not be what you’relooking for