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The goal of treatment is to remove as much of the cancer as possible. The primary treatment for most stages of melanoma is surgical removal. When found early, melanoma is easily treated and curable. Additional treatment may help to prevent the spread or recurrence of more advanced cancer. The overall treatment plan is based on the characteristics of the cancer, patient's age, general health, and prognosis. Comfort measures may be needed if melanoma is in advanced stages and is causing symptoms.

The healthcare team will be made up of a variety of health professionals including doctors, surgeons, nurses, and pharmacists. It is important to maintain contact with your medical team, adhere to recommended treatment, and go to any recommended appointments for best outcomes possible.

Melanoma treatment includes:

Surgery
Radiation therapy
Medications to Treat Side Effects of Melanoma Treatment
Medications for Melanoma
Lifestyle changes
Chemotherapy

Existing treatment protocols have been established and continue to be modified through clinical trials. These research studies are essential to determine whether or not new treatments are both safe and effective. Since highly effective treatments for many cancers remain unknown, numerous clinical trials are always underway around the world. You may wish to ask your doctor about participating in a clinical trial. You can find out about clinical trials at the US National Institutes of Health website.

References:

Melanoma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115302/Melanoma. Updated August 26, 2016. Accessed October 18, 2016.

Melanoma. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic-disorders/cancers-of-the-skin/melanoma. Updated July 2015. Accessed October 18, 2016.

Melanoma skin cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003120-pdf.pdf. Accessed October 18, 2016.

Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/skin/patient/melanoma-treatment-pdq#section/_135. Updated July 22, 2016. Accessed October 18, 2016.



Last reviewed March 2016 by Mohei Abouzied, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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