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Melanoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options by Stage

A link to a list of current clinical trials is included for each treatment section. For some types or stages of cancer, there may not be any trials listed. Check with your doctor for clinical trials that are not listed here but may be right for you.

Stage 0 (Melanoma in Situ)

Recommended Related to Melanoma/Skin Cancer

Understanding Skin Cancer -- Diagnosis and Treatment

All potentially cancerous skin growths must be biopsied to confirm a cancer diagnosis. Depending on the suspected type of skin cancer, the biopsy techniques vary slightly but crucially. Any potential melanoma requires a surgical biopsy, in which the entire growth is removed with a scalpel if possible. A pathologist then studies the sample under a microscope to determine whether cancer cells are present. If melanoma is diagnosed, other tests may be ordered to assess the degree of cancer spread (metastasis)...

Read the Understanding Skin Cancer -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

Treatment of stage 0 is usually surgery to remove the area of abnormal cells and a small amount of normal tissue around it.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage 0 melanoma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage I Melanoma

Treatment of stage I melanoma may include the following:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor and some of the normal tissue around it. Sometimes lymph node mapping and removal of lymph nodes is also done.
  • A clinical trial of new ways to find cancer cells in the lymph nodes.
  • A clinical trial of lymphadenectomy with or without adjuvant therapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I melanoma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage II Melanoma

Treatment of stage II melanoma may include the following:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor and some of the normal tissue around it.
  • Lymph node mapping and sentinel lymph node biopsy, followed by surgery to remove the tumor and some of the normal tissue around it. If cancer is found in the sentinel lymph node, a second surgery may be done to remove more nearby lymph nodes.
  • A clinical trial of new types of treatment to be used after surgery.
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