Melanoma Specialist

Desiree Ratner, MD -  - Dermatologist

Desiree Ratner, MD

Dermatologist located in Murray Hill, New York, NY

Early detection and diagnosis of melanoma can go a long way in successfully treating this most dangerous form of skin cancer. Board-certified dermatologist Desiree Ratner, MD, in New York City has extensive experience in treating melanoma. To learn more, call her office in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood to schedule an appointment today.

Melanoma Q & A

What is melanoma?

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. Thought to be caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, which is given off in tanning beds and naturally by the sun, melanoma is generally found on the skin, but can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.

Early detection and diagnosis are essential when it comes to successfully treating melanoma.

What are the symptoms of melanoma?

With regular self-examination of your skin, melanoma is easily detectable. You’ll need to watch moles for any irregularities. When checking for melanoma, use the ABCDE test.

  • Asymmetry: One side of the mole doesn’t match the other
  • Border: Your mole’s border is irregular
  • Color: Your mole changes from brown to black,  or vice versa
  • Diameter: The diameter of your mole is larger than a fourth of an inch, or the size of a pencil eraser
  • Evolving: Your mole changes shape, size, or color

How is melanoma diagnosed?

If your dermatologist suspects you may have melanoma, first she’ll perform a skin examination to look at the area on your body in question. If a biopsy has not yet been performed by a medical dermatologist, Dr. Ratner will perform a skin biopsy and send your tissue sample for testing.

How is melanoma treated?

Early melanomas are curable and are nearly always treated with surgery. Each surgery is different and depends on individual factors, including the size, depth and location of the cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient.  Dr. Ratner specializes in the surgical treatment of melanomas. She removes superficial melanoma--the thinnest and most shallow lesions--surgically under local anesthesia. The success rate is very high and the recurrence rate is very low. If there is a concern that a melanoma has potential to spread from your skin to other parts of your body, Dr. Ratner may refer you to another melanoma specialist, who is part of a team of multidisciplinary specialists, to discuss other options for treatment.

Dr. Ratner determines which approach is best for your unique situation.

What can I do to prevent melanoma?

There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing melanoma, including:

  • Always wear sunscreen when going outdoors
  • Avoid tanning beds
  • Stay in shade outside whenever possible
  • Perform regular checks of your skin and existing moles for any changes

If you have a skin spot that looks abnormal, or a mole that fails any part of the ABCDE test, don’t wait to visit a doctor. Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist for an examination by calling her office.