Melanoma is type of skin cancer presenting as pink, white, or brownish skin spots with potential of spreading to other parts of the body. According to The American Cancer Society, melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. People with fair skin, moles, weakened immune system, family history of cancer, and exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light are more susceptible to melanoma, with UV being the greatest risk factor. Early detection and interventions are key in cancer control and prevention, with drug treatments proving effective in fighting melanoma.

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014 for patients with advanced melanoma unresponsive to other drug treatments. WebMD shares how Keytruda helps shrink tumor cells and prevents the immune system from attacking melanoma cells. This medication also stops the growth and spread of skin cancer to other parts of the body. WebMD documents a study by the FDA noting, “According to the FDA, the drug's approval was based on a clinical trial of 173 patients with advanced melanoma. It found that at the recommended dose of 2 milligrams per kilogram, about 24 percent of patients saw their tumors shrink.”

Keytruda is administered intravenously once every three weeks, and length of treatment depends on the individual’s health needs. Common side effects listed by drugs.com include: nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, rash, cough, joint pain, and tiredness. Emergency medical help is recommended if experiencing shortness of breath, palpitations, bleeding, kidney or liver problems, or changes in health status. For more in-depth pharmaceutical information, please visit drugs.com.

For clients with advanced stages of melanoma this medication helps control growth and the spread of skin cancer. New pharmaceuticals with like drug properties are projected to be released in the near future. For now, Keytruda is promising for clients with advanced melanoma who were once unresponsive to other drug treatments.

* All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare practitioner prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions.