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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.
The survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has penetrated the skin, is about 99%. The survival rate falls to 15% for those with advanced disease.
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