Malignant melanoma is a skin condition characterised by the abnormal growth of tissues that originates from cells called melanocytes. It is considered the most aggressive type of skin cancer, making early detection and treatment crucial. Apart from genetics, its major risk factors are prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun and the presence of multiple moles in the body. The distinct characteristic of malignant melanoma is the presence of elevated, large lesions with an asymmetrical shape and irregular borders and colours.
There are several ways of obtaining an accurate diagnosis of malignant melanoma, including laboratory tests and excisional biopsy where a part of suspected tumour cells are surgically removed and examined. Imaging technologies are also used for the diagnosis and staging of this disease.
For most patients diagnosed with malignant melanoma, surgery is still the most effective treatment. In countries like Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia, many hospitals and dedicated oncology centres are staffed by internationally trained and highly experienced oncologists who can provide the best medical care possible to both local and foreign patients with this condition. They also have highly-trained professionals ready to assist in providing adjuvant and immune therapy, when needed. These medical professionals are knowledgeable on the latest techniques and use evidence-based methods to ensure the success of treatment.
Patients travelling from other countries in Asia and even from as far as Western counties can take advantage of comprehensive health care packages offered in the region without the associated crippling costs. In Southeast Asia, medical tourists only have to pay 25-50% of what they would spend if they travel to Western countries for treatment. However, since the same medical technologies are used in Southeast Asia, patients can expect the same treatment outcomes.