Melanoma Program

Melanoma is one of the fastest-growing types of cancer. It is the least common but most deadly skin cancer, accounting for only about 4% of all cases, but 79% of skin cancer deaths.1

The median age at diagnosis is between 45 and 55, although 25% of cases occur in individuals before age 40. Melanoma is the second most common cancer in women between the ages of 20 and 35, and the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25 to 30. 2

Race is the primary risk factor for developing melanoma, with fair-skinned races at greater risk than darker-skinned races. In the United States, Whites are 20 times more likely to develop melanoma than African-Americans.

Screening, diagnosis, treatment and surveillance guidelines for melanoma are constantly advancing. At South Nassau's Gertrude & Louis Feil Cancer Center, there are two board-certified and fellowship-trained surgical oncologists who have advanced training in the management of melanoma. Rajiv Datta, FACS, FRCS, FICS, chair of surgery at South Nassau, and Eric Seitelman, MD, surgical oncologist, work together at as team to offer expert review of simple and complicated cases. All patients are diagnosed, treated and surveyed according to the current National Comprehensive Care Network guidelines where appropriate.

Drs. Datta and Seitelman provide oncologic and cosmetic excisions, regional lymph node staging with the use of sentinel lymph node sampling and regional lymph node dissections, and palliative resections for local, regional and distant metastases.

A multi-disciplinary team, including radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, experienced nurses, and lymphedema specialists reviews all complicated and advanced cases. Following appropriate treatment, a robust surveillance program tracks the patient's progress and diligent follow-up is performed.

Melanoma is not a condition to be taken lightly; it is very serious and should be dealt with as early as possible by physicians dedicated to the latest updates in the field who can offer expert and compassionate care.

For an appointment with either Dr. Datta or Dr. Seitelman, please call 516-632-3350. Review our physician biographies.


1 American Cancer Society (
2 Lotze MT, Dallal RM, Kirkwood JM, Flickinger JC. Cutaneous melanoma. In DeVita VT, Rosenberg SA, Hellman S. (eds.), Principles and Practice of Oncology, 6 th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 2001.

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