Treatment By Stage

Melanoma Treatment Options Treatment By Stage

In this section, you will find information about standard treatments for each stage of melanoma, as well as experimental treatments for which you may be eligible.

Stage 0

The standard treatment for Stage 0 disease is a re-excision of the original site with a surrounding area of normal-looking skin being taken.

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Stage I

Treatment of Stage I melanoma is surgery and sometimes sentinel lymph node biopsy, based upon your stage of melanoma and your doctor’s assessment.

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Stage II

Once your stage of melanoma has been identified, your doctor will discuss a plan of treatment with you. These options can include surgery, sentinel lymph node biopsy, adjuvant therapy, or an array of clinical trials.

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Stage III

After your stage of melanoma has been identified, your doctor will discuss a plan of treatment with you. It is important to understand if all of your Stage III melanoma has been completely removed with surgery (resected Stage III) or if it was not possible to remove all of the melanoma (unresectable Stage III). These two variations of Stage III melanoma are treated very differently. Unresectable Stage III patients are treated similarly to Stage IV melanoma patients.

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Stage IV

Once your stage of melanoma has been determined, your doctor will discuss a plan of treatment with you. Several new drugs, including Ipilimumab (Yervoy), Vemurafenib (Zelboraf), Dabrafenib (Tafinlar), Trametinib (Mekinist), and Dabrafenib in combination with Trametinib have been FDA approved, and have shown improvements in survival.

Many experimental treatments are under investigation and may be available by enrolling in a clinical trial.

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Brain Metastases

Currently, treatment options for brain metastases depend on the number of metastases, their size and location, the presence of extracranial metastases (melanoma outside of the brain and spinal cord), and the performance status of the patient.

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