In most hospitals, a team of specialists will talk with you about the treatment they feel is best for your situation.
This multidisciplinary team (MDT) will include:
- a dermatologist – a doctor specialising in the treatment of skin cancers and skin disorders
- a plastic surgeon – a doctor specialising in reconstructive surgery
- a specialist surgeon – depending on what area of your body the cancer has spread to
- a medical oncologist – a chemotherapy specialist
- a clinical oncologist – a radiotherapy and chemotherapy specialist
- a pathologist – a doctor who examines samples from the tumour to see whether it’s a cancer and which type it is
- a skin cancer specialist nurse – who gives information and support and co-ordinates your treatment.
It may also include other healthcare professionals, such as a palliative care specialist, research nurse, dietitian, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, psychologist or counsellor.
The MDT will take a number of factors into account when advising you on the best treatment. These include your general health, the area the melanoma has spread to and your test results.
Sometimes different treatments can be equally effective for controlling advanced melanoma. In this situation, your doctors may offer you a choice of treatments. If you’re asked to make a choice, make sure you have enough information about the different options, what’s involved and the possible side effects. This will help you decide on the right treatment for you.
Remember to ask questions about anything that you don’t understand or feel worried about. It may help to discuss the benefits and disadvantages of each option with your cancer specialist or nurse specialist, or with our cancer support specialists on 0808 808 00 00. We have more information on making treatment decisions.