Treatment overview for melanoma that has come back in the same area
When melanoma comes back very close to the original site it is usually called a local recurrence or recurrent melanoma. Surgery is the main treatment for a recurrent melanoma.
Occasionally, melanomas come back as ‘clusters’ of melanomas. The clusters are in the same area as the original melanoma, but a bit further away. Doctors sometimes call these satellite or in-transit lesions.
Surgery is the main treatment for a melanoma that comes back in the same area. You may have surgery to remove a single recurrence or more than one recurrence. If you have a lot of recurrences, it may be difficult to remove them all with surgery. In this case, your specialist may advise you to have laser therapy. If the recurrences are confined to a limb, you may be advised to have chemotherapy directly into that limb. These treatments are carried out in specialist centres.
Occasionally, doctors use radiotherapy to treat a recurrent melanoma. It may be used if the melanoma is too big to remove with surgery or if other treatments aren’t suitable.
Melanomas are not very sensitive to radiotherapy, but it may help shrink a recurrence that is large and causing pain.