What are my chances of surviving melanoma?

Jill Onesti, MD
Surgical Oncology
The chance of surviving melanoma depends on how early the melanoma is discovered. Thin melanomas, typically described as being less than one millimeter (mm) deep, have an excellent chance of survival with complete removal. Surgery remains the main treatment for melanoma, but it is not always possible to remove all lesions. If the tumor cannot be removed, or if there is evidence that it has spread throughout your body, your doctors will talk with you about options including chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy.
 
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For stage IV metastatic melanoma, life expectancy is around 8 to 10 months. In this video, Philip Friedlander, MD, an oncologist at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, discusses survivability rates for melanoma.

Continue Learning about Melanoma

Melanoma

The most serious type of skin cancer, melanoma affects the cells that give our skin its color. Although it can spread easily, it is curable when treated early.This cancer forms when the cells that make melanin grow abnormally or d...

o not die when they should. These cells, called melanocytes, are found in our skin’s outer layer. Melanoma typically begins in a mole or birthmark but can form in other tissues with pigmentation, such as your eye. When melanoma develops in the eye, it is called Intraocular Melanoma. Protect yourself by avoiding overexposure from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Stay vigilant of any changes in your skin, especially if you have the skin disease Xeroderma pigmentosum, which makes you sensitive to light. You are also more likely to develop melanoma if someone in your family has been previously diagnosed with this specific type of cancer.
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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.