When melanoma has spread to distant lymph nodes or other internal organs or bones (stage 4), it is known as advanced or metastatic melanoma. Treatment may include surgery, immunotherapy, targeted therapy and radiation therapy. Palliative treatment may also be offered to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Since the development of more effective treatments, chemotherapy is rarely used to treat melanoma.
Treatment for advanced melanoma is complex, so it is best to have your treatment in a specialist melanoma unit. To find cancer specialists, multidisciplinary teams and hospitals in NSW or ACT, you can visit the NSW Government website CanRefer.
You will be offered a treatment plan based on factors such as the features of the melanoma, where it has spread and any symptoms you have. New developments are occurring all the time, and you may be able to access new treatments through clinical trials.
Treatment for advanced cancer includes:
Podcast for people affected by advanced cancer
A/Prof Robyn Saw, Surgical Oncologist, Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, NSW; Craig Brewer, Consumer; Prof Bryan Burmeister, Radiation Oncologist, GenesisCare Fraser Coast and Hervey Bay Hospital, QLD; Tamara Dawson, Consumer, Melanoma & Skin Cancer Advocacy Network; Prof Georgina Long, Co-Medical Director, Melanoma Institute Australia, and Chair, Melanoma Medical Oncology and Translational Research, Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW; A/Prof Alexander Menzies, Medical Oncologist, Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney, Royal North Shore and Mater Hospitals, NSW; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Paige Preston, Chair, Cancer Council’s National Skin Cancer Committee, Cancer Council Australia; Prof H Peter Soyer, Chair in Dermatology and Director, Dermatology Research Centre, The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, and Director, Dermatology Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Julie Teraci, Clinical Nurse Consultant and Coordinator, WA Kirkbride Melanoma Advisory Service, WA.
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