Melanoma skin cancer
If you’re affected by melanoma, you may have many questions about how it is diagnosed, treatment options, side effects and how to stay well. You can find trustworthy information about all aspects of your experience below.
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that starts in cells called melanocytes. Get an overview of melanoma, what causes it and who gets it.
Find out about the tests for melanoma, how it is diagnosed and staged, and who will provide your care.
Melanoma that is found early (stages 0–2) can generally be treated with surgery alone. If it has spread to nearby lymph nodes or tissues (stage 3), you may also need immunotherapy or targeted therapy.
If melanoma has spread to distant parts of the body (stage 4 or metastatic melanoma), treatment options may include surgery, immunotherapy, targeted therapy and radiation therapy.
Learn about follow-up care, how to protect your skin from the sun, and what happens if melanoma returns.
- What type of melanoma do I have? How thick is it?
- Has the melanoma spread? How fast is it growing?
- Did the biopsy remove all of the melanoma?
- Are the latest tests and treatments for melanoma available in this hospital?
- Can you explain the results of the tests to me?
- Are there clinical guidelines for this type of cancer?
- What treatment do you recommend? What is the aim of the treatment?
- How long will treatment take? Will I have to stay in hospital?
- How much will treatment cost? Can the cost be reduced if I can’t afford it?
- How will I know if the treatment is working?
- Are there any clinical trials or research studies I could join?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? How can these be managed?
- Will I have a lot of pain? If I do, what will be done about this?
- Will there be any scarring after the melanoma is removed?
- What are the chances I will get lymphoedema after treatment?
- How often will I need to get my skin checked after treatment? Who should I go to for my skin checks?
- How can I protect myself from the sun and get enough vitamin D?
- If the melanoma returns, how will I know? What treatments could I have?
- Are there any local support groups for people with melanoma?