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    Metastatic Melanoma - Topic Overview

    When melanoma spreads (metastasizes), it usually spreads first into nearby lymph nodes. It can also spread through the bloodstream. Distant metastases of melanoma typically are found in the skin, liver, lungs, bone, and brain.

    If the melanoma is on a leg or arm, metastases usually are first found higher up on that leg or arm. Unusual sites for metastases include the eye.

    Recommended Related to Melanoma/Skin Cancer

    How Doctors Diagnose Metastatic Melanoma

    After your doctor says you have melanoma skin cancer, your first question is probably going to be: Has it spread?  Your doctor will do tests to find out if it has moved, or “metastasized,” deeper within your skin or to other parts of your body. There are some possible clues in the lab report your doctor got when you first got your melanoma diagnosis. If the melanoma is less than 1 millimeter thick, it’s less likely to have spread than a thicker one. The report might also mention how quickly the...

    Read the How Doctors Diagnose Metastatic Melanoma article > >

    You may notice changes in a new or existing mole, such as:

    • An open sore (ulceration) or infection.
    • Bleeding for no reason.
    • Itching, tenderness, or pain.
    • A change in color.
    • A change in the thickness, such as going from flat to raised or raised to flat.

    But symptoms may be vague and include:

    When melanoma has spread only to nearby tissues or lymph nodes, treatments such as immunotherapy can sometimes work. But after melanoma has spread to other places in the body, cure is very rare. In these cases, treatment to manage symptoms may help a person live longer.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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