If you’ve undergone a mole biopsy and the results have come back positive for melanoma, you may be wondering what will happen next. Generally, after a patient receives positive melanoma results, his or her doctors will need to proceed with staging the malignancy— which essentially means determining the extent of the cancer—and developing a treatment plan based on how far the cancer has progressed.
Based on a variety of factors—including the size and thickness of the tumor, and whether the cancer has metastasized (spread to other areas of the body)—the doctors will determine where the melanoma falls between Stage 0 (where the abnormal cells are precancerous) and Stage 4 (where the cancer has spread to distant areas of the body). Melanoma staging often requires additional diagnostic testing, which may consist of:
- Computed tomography (CT) scans
- Fine needle aspiration biopsies
- Lymphatic mapping (also referred to as “lymphoscintigraphy”)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scans
- Sentinel lymph node biopsies
Once the doctors have staged the melanoma, they’ll use that information to develop an individualized treatment plan. Depending on how far the melanoma has progressed, treatment may involve some combination of the following:
- Limb infusion and perfusion
- Radiation therapy
The team to choose for melanoma treatment
If a mole biopsy has revealed that you have melanoma, you can confidently turn to Moffitt Cancer Center for treatment. Our Cutaneous Oncology Program includes surgical oncologists, plastic surgeons, dermatologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and radiologists, all of whom will work together to provide you with the best possible course of treatment for your specific condition.