Although melanoma is the least common form of skin cancer, this disease can be extremely dangerous if steps are not taken to treat it. If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with melanoma, here is some information on 4 treatment options, brought to you by the Roseville caregivers at Home Care Assistance.
If melanoma reaches the lymph nodes, it will need to be surgically removed to keep it from spreading throughout the rest of the body. The width of the noncancerous skin that has to be removed through a surgical excision will depend on the depth of the melanoma. After surgical treatment, your loved one may need to get a skin graft, depending on where the excision is located.
A common way to treat seniors with melanoma is through chemotherapy. The medication used with this method targets the cancer cells and destroys them. Even if the chemotherapy is not able to stop the cancer cells completely, it can still help slow down the growth of the cells. Chemotherapy presents various challenges for seniors, but with the right resources and information, you can help your loved one handle these issues.
3. Targeted Radiation
This type of treatment is safe and often effective for seniors living with melanoma. Seniors are sometimes not healthy enough to receive other types of treatment, which makes targeted radiation therapy a popular choice. Those who receive this treatment for skin cancer typically have minimal side effects, and it also increases the odds of living a better quality of life.
4. Clinical Trials
If your loved one is in one of the late stages of melanoma (Stage III or IV), this may be the best treatment option for him or her. A clinical trial involves an investigational drug, device, or method of treatment the FDA has not yet approved. Many seniors choose this type of treatment because they are interested in finding new ways to prevent or treat cancer. A doctor will not be able to enroll your loved one in a clinical trial. This must be your loved one’s choice. However, he or she can end the clinical treatment at any time.
Some activities of daily life may become more challenging for your loved one during treatment for melanoma. Turn to Home Care Assistance for help with important tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise. We offer hourly and 24-hour care, all of our care services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we’ll never ask you to sign a long-term contract. For more information on elder care Roseville, Lincoln, and Rocklin seniors can rely on, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (916) 226-3737 to request a free in-home consultation.