The first step of treatment for stage 3 melanoma is usually surgical removal of the growth and the surrounding tissue. Stage 3 melanoma has spread through the skin and surrounding tissue, so doctors will usually remove the entire growth and a few centimeters of surrounding tissue, including the fat and the tissue lining the muscle below. Because the cancer has spread to the regional lymph nodes in stage 3 melanoma, the doctor will also remove any lymph nodes in the nearby area. After the growth and lymph nodes have been removed, doctors may recommend several other procedures. In some cases, chemotherapy or other medications may be recommended to kill any cancerous cells that have spread to other parts of the body. Follow-up treatment, including frequent check-ups to make sure the melanoma has stopped spreading, is also extremely important.