The most common place for melanoma cells to spread to is to the lymph nodes closest to the melanoma. Your specialist will examine these nodes to see if they look or feel swollen. For example, if the melanoma is on your leg they’ll examine the lymph nodes behind your knee and in your groin. If it’s on your chest, back or tummy (abdomen), they’ll check the lymph nodes in your groin and armpits, above the collar bones, and in the neck.
Some people will have tests to check whether their lymph nodes are affected. Not everyone needs these tests – it depends on the stage of the melanoma and if the lymph nodes look or feel swollen.
If your tests show that the melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes, you’ll be advised to have surgery to remove all the lymph nodes in that area.