In cases where the melanoma is in an unusual position or has spread, your specialist will arrange for a team of health professionals to plan your treatment based on your preferences and needs.
The team will be made up of professionals who have experience managing and supporting a person with melanoma. Your specialist will tell you when the team will be discussing your case.
Your team should discuss the different treatment options with you including the likely outcomes, expected timeframes, possible side effects and the risks and benefits. Your doctor may also suggest you consider taking part in a clinical trial.
You might want to ask for more time before deciding on your treatment.
Let your team know about any complementary therapies you are using or thinking about trying. Some therapies may not be appropriate, depending on your medical treatment.
There are a number of ways to treat melanoma that has spread. In some cases, more than one type of treatment could be used to get the best outcome.
Further treatment after surgery for melanoma that has spread (advanced melanoma):
Radiation therapy (also known as radiotherapy) may benefit patients with some types of melanoma including melanoma that has spread to different parts of the body.
Chemotherapy should be considered for all patients with advanced melanoma. Recent research has shown chemotherapy to improve long-term outcomes for this group of patients.
Biological and targeted therapies Substances that activate cells in the body to fight cancer (biological therapies) or selectively target cancer cells (targeted therapies) have been shown to help specific groups of people with melanoma.
For more information about treatment and treatment side effects ask your doctor or visit www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/treatment
Your doctor should discuss your needs with you during and after treatment (including physical, psychological, social and information needs) and may refer you to another service or health professional for different aspects of your care.
It can be helpful to contact cancer peer support groups and support groups for carers.