Skin Cancer Video

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer but when treated early, it has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers. Recognizing the symptoms and regular check-ups are the best ways to detect melanoma early.
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Sherry Damatarca: This year an estimated 4,600 new patients will be diagnosed with melanoma. The most deadly form of skin cancer. Recognizing symptoms and getting regular checkups are the best ways to determine melanoma early. Dr. Joel Claveau is a Dermatologist specializing in the management of melanoma. Dr. Joel Claveau: Melanoma is increasing rapidly. We see more than 4,500 cases in Canada every year. The early signs of melanoma are described by ABCDE. A stands for asymmetry of a pigmented lesion, B stands for irregularity border, C for colors black or changing, D for diameter more than 6 millimeter and E for evolution. So every changing moles or skin lesion can be a sign of early melanoma. When somebody suspect melanoma, they should see their family doctors or dermatologist. Sherry Demeterco: When found early, melanoma has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers. Dr. Joel Claveau: If melanoma is diagnosed late the prognosis is not as good. It can spread to your lymph nodes or inside your body. The only adjuvant treatment accepted for melanoma is interferon or Intron A. Interferon works by stimulating your immune system. It helps to destroy tumor cells and decrease the risk of recurrences. Interferon has been demonstrated to decrease the risk of recurrence of the melanoma and increase survival by 10% or 15%. Sherry Damatarca: One year of Intron A treatment following surgery is the only regimen today that has resulted in significant relapse free and overall survival improvement. Patients with ulcerated tumor particular benefit from this treatment. As with all cancer treatment having a strong support team in place, plays a vital part in a patient's success. That's said, if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with melanoma, it's important that you speak with the member of your health care team to ensure treatment provides optimal results. Dr. Joel Claveau: During a treatment with Interferon you need some support from your family, your medical staff, and your pharmacist. Sherry Damatarca: Interferon therapy, like anything worth doing, requires a serious commitment. To benefit from this medication, you need to follow prescribed regimen without fail. After treatment careful monitoring and follow up is essential in tracking progress and recovery. If you had melanoma before you are at increased risk for new melanoma. If there are any signs of recurrence, tell your doctor immediately. Patient should also consider joining a support group. Such as the Canadian Save Your Skin Foundation, located at saveyouskin.ca, where patients can find a safe place to share their experiences with other patients and former Interferon patients. Sherry Damatarca reporting.

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