Norman BrooksSkin Cancer Medical Center, United States of America
Title: Use of Zinc Chloride for Melanoma
Zinc chloride is a very deeply penetrating agent that destroys tissue and has been used since 1835 by physicians to treat skin cancers, melanoma and breast cancer. For application to these tumors the zinc chloride has historically been suspended in a paste. In the 1930’s Mohs, the physician who invented Mohs Surgery, was the first to combine surgery with the use of zinc chloride. Mohs believed that surgery can spread a melanoma and applied the zinc chloride during and after surgery to prevent the spread. His clinical data showed that survival was much improved for melanoma with the use of zinc chloride versus surgery alone.
Besides physician’s use, zinc chloride has also been sold over the counter as an alternative remedy to surgery for skin cancers, moles and skin tags. The zinc chloride sold over the counter is typically suspended in a paste containing blood root and stibnite which turns the paste black and has become known as black salve. It is readily available for sale worldwide online by vendors located in countries lacking regulatory control. In a survey of 340 adult patients who had used black salve 60% were satisfied or very satisfied with the results. However, self-treatment with this deeply penetrating, destructive chemical is dangerous and highly risky. There can be scarring, and deformity from its use, as well as misdiagnosis and even death from metastasis of an improperly treated melanoma.
However, new simplified techniques using zinc chloride solution suspended in distilled water, applied to a melanoma wound after surgery is very promising and may prevent the potential surgical spread of a melanoma.
Norman A. Brooks, M.D. has been in private practice as a dermatologist and Mohs skin cancer surgeon for over 40 years in Encino, California. He has successfully used zinc chloride to treat many melanomas over the years, and is a strong advocate of this agent to prevent the surgical spread of melanoma.