Melanoma, which begins in the cells that determine pigmentation, is much less common than basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, but far more dangerous. It's almost always curable in its early stages, but much more likely to spread to other parts of the body if not caught early. Left untreated, it becomes harder to treat effectively, and can cause death.
Unfortunately, melanoma is a common diagnosis in Hampton Roads. Indeed, EVMS Medical Group's Surgical Oncology Division is a major referral center for southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.
Former Chief of EVMS Surgical Oncology, Roger Perry, MD, pioneered the use of sentinel node biopsy for melanoma in the region, and our surgeons have participated in a number of protocol studies. Current studies are examining the identification of unique bio markers for patients with melanoma.
We actively participate in the Commission on Cancer Melanoma Disease Site Team.
While caring for melanoma patients, every attempt is made to minimize the cosmetic deformity associated with melanoma surgery, while adhering to strict oncologic principles to maximize the chance for cure. When reconstruction surgery is required, our surgeons collaborate with EVMS Reconstructive Plastic Surgeons to achieve the most optimal cosmetically aesthetic results.