Many melanomas can be cured by surgery alone. If the lymph nodes contain melanoma cells, the rest of the lymph nodes in the same area are removed by the surgeon. However, sometimes even at the time the melanoma is first diagnosed, it may already have spread to other parts of the body. Over time, tumors may grow in the lungs, the liver or other organs. Spread of the melanoma to other parts of the body (called metastatic disease), if untreated, can be lethal over a period of months to years. In addition to surgery, standard treatment can include chemotherapy and biologic therapy. Currently, there are multiple clinical trials available for patients with metastatic melanoma. This also includes high-dose chemotherapy to arms and legs, to avoid amputations.
New techniques bring hope for melanoma patients
Melanoma that has spread used to have a very low cure rate, but Melanoma Program clinicians now have several promising approaches at their disposal and are actively involved in clinical trials to develop new ones.
Why Smilow Cancer Hospital for Melanoma Treatment
The Melanoma Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital brings together experts from diverse fields to provide patients with new and state-of-the-art treatments. The multidisciplinary team, which includes surgeons, medical oncologists, dermatologists, radiologists, surgical and dermatologic pathologists, and psychotherapists draws on its experience in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients, as well as in the care of our patients' families.
Learn more about the Yale Cancer Center Melanoma Program and its cutting-edge research.
Learn about Cancer Genetic Counseling at Smilow Cancer Hospital.