Melanoma is Diagnosed and Treated at Mercy Medical Center

A skin biopsy is a procedure in which a doctor removes a small sample of skin tissue. This video shows how and why a doctor performs a skin biopsy.

The expert cancer team at Surgical Oncology at Mercy in Baltimore provides treatment options for all stages of melanoma. Our doctors have been participants in multi-national trials on better surgical treatment of late stage melanoma to bring forth new treatment methods. 

About the Condition

Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer. Normal pigment-producing cells become cancerous and aggressively invade surrounding healthy tissue. Most melanomas resemble moles and are brown or black, but they can also be pink, red, purple, white or skin colored. Melanoma is typically caused from exposure to UV radiation from the sun.

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Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Melanoma often appears as a mole and tends to be larger than a pencil eraser, uneven in color, asymmetrical, and ragged around the border. Melanoma may remain only in the skin or it may spread through the blood or lymph system to other organs and bones.

It is important to diagnose the tumor’s spread to the lymph glands early and the sentinel lymph node biopsy technique is a minimally invasive way to do so. 

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Treatment Options

Surgical removal of the tumor is the most effective treatment for melanoma. For more advanced melanomas that include regional spread or metastases to other organs, radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be used in combination with surgery.

An innovative technique called isolated limb infusion (ILI) treats late stages of melanoma (and sarcoma) confined to an extremity (an arm or leg). During the procedure high doses of chemotherapy are delivered directly to the tumor.  ILI is available only in a small number of centers worldwide and Mercy is proud to offer this state-of-the-art treatment option.

Meet Our Doctors: Surgical Oncology
Dr. Vadim Gushchin - Surgical Oncology at Mercy - Baltimore
Vadim Gushchin, M.D.

Dr. Vadim Gushchin, Director of Gastrointestinal Oncology, is a skilled cancer surgeon offering expertise in gastrointestinal malignancies as well as advanced treatment options including HIPEC and robotic surgery.

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Patient receives treatment at Surgical Oncology at Mercy in Baltimore
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