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What are the treatment options for stage 4 melanoma?

Treatment for stage 4 melanoma is usually more aggressive than earlier stages, because the cancer has spread from the original site. Treatment may involve surgical removal of the growth and the lymph nodes in the nearby area, as well as removal of other melanomas. However, this won't get rid of all the cancer. Doctors may recommend other treatments such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy (using the body's immune system to fight cancer cells), or targeted therapy (targeting cancer cells by their particular genetic makeup), all of which which can help kill cancerous cells that have spread to other parts of the body. Side effects of these treatments can be harsh, and their success may depend on several factors, such as age and overall condition. Clinical trials may be recommended. Palliative care may be recommended as well, to improve quality of life if intervention is not expected to help.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.