Care / Where to Go for Help
Treatment for melanoma should always be rendered by healthcare professionals who have specialized in the care of patients with cancer.
A surgical oncologist, for example, is well versed on the behaviors of certain tumors and the necessary data to obtain to accurately stage the disease.
Expert teams of cancer care professionals can be found in both community and university centers. Specialists in melanoma, however, are typically found in larger university settings. Here they can both care for patients and participate in research activities to identify new and more effective treatment strategies.
Patients with later stage or recurrent melanoma may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.
Treatment for melanoma, as for any diagnosis of cancer, often involves the use of multiple modalities to fight the disease over many months and, sometimes, years. In whatever setting is most appropriate for you to receive treatment, an inter-disciplinary team of cancer professionals including, but not limited to, your attending physician, registered nurse, social worker, physical therapist and dietician should be accessible to advocate for you and to assist you and your family to navigate this experience.
This is equally true outside of the acute hospital setting. Often treatment is delivered by intermittent visits to an outpatient center. A short stay in a rehabilitation center is appropriate to assist patients to regain optimal function and stamina after surgery. Home care services are utilized when the patient has a skilled need such as learning about new medicines or how to take care of a catheter.
Hospice care is initiated when the doctor believes that a cure is no longer possible and the goals of care have shifted from treatment and cure to comfort and care. Each of these services across the health care continuum should offer you the talents of a team of skilled and compassionate professionals specializing in the care of patients with cancer.