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What is advanced melanoma?

Men and women discussing melanoma skin cancer

This page has information on advanced melanoma. There are sections about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

What advanced melanoma is

Advanced melanoma means the cancer has spread from where it started to another part of the body. Your melanoma may have already spread when it was diagnosed. Or it may have come back in another part of the body sometime after your first diagnosis and treatment. Doctors call this recurrent cancer. Cancer that has spread to another part of the body is called secondary cancer or metastases.

What having advanced melanoma means

Having advanced melanoma means that it can't be cured. But treatments are available that can shrink the melanoma or slow its growth. It may be possible to control it for quite a while. You will need to talk very carefully to your own specialist to understand what the diagnosis means for you, what treatment is available, and how treatment may help you.

Sadly, some people are diagnosed with melanoma when it is too far advanced for treatment to be able to control the cancer. If this happens then your doctor will still be able to help control symptoms you may have.

 

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What advanced melanoma is

Advanced melanoma means the melanoma has spread from the area of skin where it started to another part of the body. Your melanoma may have already spread when it was diagnosed. Or it may have come back in another part of the body some time after your first diagnosis and treatment. Doctors call this recurrent cancer. Cancer that has spread to another part of the body is called secondary cancer or metastases.

There is information on where melanoma tends to spread to in the treating melanoma section.

 

What having advanced melanoma means

Having advanced melanoma means that the cancer can't be cured. But treatments are available that can shrink the melanoma or stop it growing. It may be possible to control it for quite a while. You will need to talk very carefully to your own specialist to understand

  • What the diagnosis means for you
  • What treatment is available
  • How treatment may help you

Although you have advanced cancer, it may be months or sometimes a year or two before doctors can no longer control the melanoma. There is information about treating advanced melanoma in the treating melanoma section.

Sadly, some people are diagnosed with melanoma when it is too far advanced for treatment to be able to control the cancer. If this happens then your doctor will still be able to do things to help control any symptoms you may have. There is information about coping with the symptoms of advanced melanoma in this section.

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Updated: 24 January 2014