Treatment overview for melanoma

Surgery is the main treatment for melanoma. Some people may need further surgery or other treatments depending on the stage of the melanoma.

About treatment for melanoma

If a biopsy shows that you have melanoma, you may be seen by more specialist doctors and a specialist nurse. They will work as part of a multidisciplinary team (MDT).

We understand that having treatment can be a difficult time for people. We're here to support you. If you want to talk, you can:


Surgery is the main treatment for melanoma. Most people diagnosed with melanoma will have further surgery after their mole has been removed. This surgery is called a wide local excision. A wide local excision removes more tissue from the area where the melanoma was. The aim is to remove all the melanoma cells. This reduces the chance of the melanoma coming back.

If the melanoma has spread to nearby lymph nodes, your cancer doctor may offer you further surgery to remove them. This is called a lymph node dissection.

Targeted therapies and immunotherapies

Sometimes, other drug treatments are given after surgery. For example, you might have drug treatments if there is a risk the melanoma could come back. These are called adjuvant treatments.

If the melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes, and the surgeon was able to remove it. They may recommend having targeted therapy or immunotherapy afterwards.

This is called adjuvant treatment. It is given to help reduce the risk of the melanoma coming back.

We have more information about treatment for: