Care asuniqueas you.


This most serious form of skin cancer is becoming one of today’s most common. Green Bay Oncology has helped more people in the region overcome it with a most exceptional level of care.

Melanoma is a type of cancer that arises from the cell that causes the pigment on the skin (melanocytes). By the end of this year, about 70,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed across the U.S., many of them right here in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. At Green Bay Oncology, we have more doctors, with more years of experience, producing more successful patient outcomes than any other cancer treatment provider in the region.

In addition to more depth of experience than any other provider in the region, Green Bay Oncology is one of only two participants in the National Cancer Institute’s Community Oncology Research Program. We conduct national-level clinical trials for melanoma right here in our communities.

If you or a loved one are diagnosed with melanoma, we can help guide you through the treatment needed for the best possible outcome.

Melanoma diagnosis

Typically, people diagnosed with melanoma feel no outward symptoms at all; it’s discovered only when the patient or family doctor notices what looks like a black or brown mole or birthmark is in fact a cancerous lesion during a routine examination.

These lesions can occur anywhere on the skin from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes, even under your nails. Melanoma will have features that are different from a normal mole or birthmark. These features can be easily remembered by thinking of the letters ABCDE.

Asymmetry: one half looks different than the other half
Border: the border is jagged or irregular
Color: the color is not uniform
Diameter: the size is larger than the end of a pencil eraser
Evolution: the size increases or the color changes or bleeding occurs

Most moles or birthmarks are normal, but if you have an area that does not seem right, have your primary doctor check it out for you.

Through the melanoma diagnosis process and beyond, you will want reliable information. We are here to answer any questions you may have, but we understand you may consult additional resources.

We encourage all of our patients and prospective patients to empower themselves with knowledge and the Internet can provide valuable reference material. The key is to know that the information is coming from reputable sources. For more information on screening and diagnosis of melanoma, we recommend the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, and American Society of Clinical Oncology.

To learn more about melanoma treatment options, schedule a consultation with one of our specialists.

Why does melanoma occur?

Melanoma is most often caused by repeated over-exposure to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight, such as ultraviolet light (UV) from tanning beds. We recommend that anyone who uses a tanning bed stops immediately. Other risk factors include fair skin and a family history of melanoma. If you have a blood relative with melanoma, you should carefully and regularly examine yourself for any skin changes.

How is melanoma treated?

The appropriate treatment for melanoma will depend on the stage the disease is in when discovered. Our experts will help you define the best course of treatment. Melanoma treatment may include:

For more information on the specific treatments we’ve developed for melanoma, we invite you to contact us and schedule an appointment.


Most often surgery will remove the cancerous cells if the melanoma has not spread. This can be done in a doctor’s office. Mohs surgery is a procedure that allows the doctor to examine the tissue in the office to ensure that all of the cancerous cells were removed.

Radiation Therapy:

Radiation to kill cancerous cells often follows surgery. It uses isolated radiation beams to attack cancer cells, and can improve chances of survival and reduce the chance that the cancer will spread.


Immunotherapy uses drugs that activate a patient\’s own immune system to target melanoma cells. These might be given to patients with early stage disease who are at high risk of recurrence, in an attempt to eradicate any remaining cancer cells. Immunotherapy can also help patients with incurable melanoma live longer and better.


Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs to attack cancer cells. The drugs are administered orally or through regular intravenous injections. Treatments are often given in cycles, alternating treatment periods and periods of recovery.

Targeted Therapy:

Targeted therapy uses drugs, given orally or intravenously, to block the growth and spread of cancer cells. They generally have fewer side effects than chemotherapy. They can be used in combination with chemotherapy or when chemotherapy is no longer effective.

Clinical Trials:

New treatment options are continually being developed. As the region’s only participant in the National Cancer Institute’s Community Oncology Research Program, we conduct national-level clinical trials here in our communities and help to identify new ways to detect, diagnose, and treat melanoma.

Types of treatment by stage of melanoma

Staging indicates the advancement and severity of a patient’s cancer. Our experts will use this information to determine the appropriate course of treatment.

stage 1
Stage 1 – Melanoma is contained to the top skin layer (epidermis).
The area is surgically removed, and a lymph node may be biopsied. Melanoma is highly curable at this stage.
stage 2
Stage 2 – Involves a larger area, but one that has not spread. The area is surgically removed, and lymph nodes usually are biopsied. If the area is of a sufficient size, additional treatment such as radiation may be recommended to prevent recurrence. Cure rates are good at this stage.
stage 3
Stage 3 – Involves cancerous cells that are deep and have spread to the lymph nodes.
The area is surgically removed, along with the lymph nodes. Chemotherapy or immunotherapy is generally recommended. We’re seeing improved success curing melanoma patients at this stage.
stage 4
Stage 4 – Cancerous cells have spread not only to the lymph nodes, but to other parts of the body as well.
The surgeon may remove other affected organs. Immunotherapy and/or chemotherapy may be used to stop the spread of the disease and prolong life. Patients in this stage often seek out clinical trials to have access to treatments in the research phase.


For more information on melanoma and related treatment options, we recommend:

Stack of awareness ribbons