Skin Cancer / Melanoma
Bridgeport Hospital's Advanced Melanoma Program provides comprehensive treatment to patients with melanoma, or skin cancer. Treatment is founded on nationally accepted, evidence-based guidelines established by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
Our multidisciplinary team is comprised of specialists from dermatology, general surgery, surgical oncology, plastic surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, research, tumor registry, nursing and pathology. Each patient's condition is reviewed by a diverse tumor board, resulting in a comprehensive treatment plan that's unique to each patient. A patient navigator is available to assist patients throughout the process.
Working in tandem with Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale Cancer Center, we have the unique opportunity to offer our patients enrollment in innovative and national clinical trials.
Many melanomas can be cured by surgery alone. If the lymph nodes contain melanoma cells, the rest of the lymph nodes in the same area are removed by the surgeon. However, sometimes even at the time the melanoma is first diagnosed, it may already have spread to other parts of the body. Over time, tumors may grow in the lungs, the liver or other organs. Spread of the melanoma to other parts of the body (called metastatic disease), if untreated, can be lethal over a period of months to years. In addition to surgery, standard treatment can include chemotherapy and biologic therapy.
Our expert board-certified physicians provide a range of advanced, multidisciplinary healing therapies using state-of-the-art technology, including:
- Surgical excision - removing the cancer from the skin along with a margin of healthy tissue around it
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy - sampling of the lymph nodes to which the melanoma could possibly spread
- Full lymphadenectomy - full removal of all involved lymph nodes
- Skin grafting - using skin from one area of the body to replace skin that is removed with cancer
- Skin flaps - rotating skin surrounding the cancer into the area that is removed
At this time, standard treatments for advanced melanoma are effective in only a small percentage of patients. Nationally designated cancer centers such as Yale Cancer Center offer investigational treatments for metastatic melanoma and maintain laboratory research programs to discover new ways to treat the disease.