Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. It is not often used to treat melanoma. Your doctor may recommend it after you have had treatment with immunotherapy and targeted therapies, or if these treatments do not work.
Chemotherapy may help control or slow the growth of the melanoma for a time. Your cancer specialist will explain more about the possible benefits and side effects.
You usually have chemotherapy as an outpatient. This means you can go home on the same day. Occasionally you may have it during a short stay in hospital.
Chemotherapy drugs may cause unpleasant side effects, but these can usually be well controlled with medicines and will usually go away once treatment has finished. Not all drugs cause the same side effects and some people may have very few. You can talk to your doctor or nurse about what to expect from the treatment that’s planned for you.
We have more information about the side effects of chemotherapy.