Unfortunately, Australia has one the highest incidence rates of skin cancer in the world, with 10.2% of all new cancers diagnosed as melanoma over the past 12 months.
Unlike other types of cancers, melanoma can often be seen on the skin, making it somewhat easier to detect in its early stages. Depending on the stage of melanoma, the most common treatment is surgery.
Over the past twelve years Dr Mark Lee has been a Deputy Director on the board at the Western Australian Kirkbride Melanoma Advisory Service (WAKMAS), which provides information and advice to medical professionals regarding the management of melanoma. Dr Mark Lee uses the latest research and insights into melanoma in Australia in order to tailor the advanced melanoma surgical procedures conducted.
The following surgical procedures for advanced melanoma are available:
Dr Mark Lee performs sentinel lymph node biopsies which are surgical procedures conducted in order to determine whether a skin cancer has spread to the body’s’ lymphatic system. During the procedure the sentinel lymph node is identified, removed and then examined to determine whether melanoma cells are present.
In cases where melanoma has spread to the sentinel nodes in the body, Dr Mark Lee performs lymph node clearance surgery which removes all of the lymph nodes in the target area. For melanoma, there are three types of lymph node clearance areas – axillary (armpit), inguinal (groin) and neck.