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Cancer

Melanoma sarcoma

04/12/2007

Question:

How dangerous is melanoma sarcoma on the thigh?

Answer:

Melanoma and sarcoma are two different types of cancers with different treatments and prognoses. Both diseases can be deadly.

There are many types of sarcomas, so treatment and prognosis depend on the location of the tumor and the sub-type of the sarcoma. If untreated, sarcomas will spread to other organs, such as the lung.

The risk of melanoma spreading is based on how deep the tumor extends to the skin and whether it has spread to any lymph nodes in the groin. If the melanoma spreads to other sites, it is very difficult to cure, and the majority of people will die from the disease. When diagnosed, one needs to have a large rim of normal skin around the melanoma removed and the lymph nodes in the groin need to be biopsied. If melanoma is in the lymph nodes, but no were else in the body, then more lymph nodes should be removed. Sometimes people will need to take interferon for prevention of spread of disease after surgery.

If melanoma is discovered early and one undergoes the recommended treatments, it can be cured; anyone with a diagnosis of melanoma or a suspicious appearing mole should see a physician immediately. There are treatments for both cancers.

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Response by:

Joanna M Brell, MD Joanna M Brell, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University