Treatment overview

Treating advanced melanoma

When a melanoma has spread to other parts of the body, it can sometimes be cured but this is rare. Treatments are more usually given to help shrink and control the secondary cancer and relieve symptoms.

These are the main treatments for advanced melanoma:

  • Immunotherapy and targeted therapies are commonly used to help control or shrink the growth of advanced melanoma.
  • Chemotherapy is sometimes used.
  • Radiotherapy helps control symptoms if melanoma has spread to the brain, liver, bones or skin.
  • Surgery may sometimes be used to remove secondary tumours. It’s normally used if there’s only limited spread of the cancer or to help control symptoms.
  • Other treatments may sometimes be used for advanced melanoma, specifically to treat skin nodules. They include laser therapy, isolated limb perfusion and infusion with chemotherapy.

These treatments may be used alone or in combination.

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Cancer registry

Each country in the UK has its own cancer registry: information that helps the NHS and other organisations to plan and improve cancer services.