Surgery for a primary melanoma –Stages 0-I-II
For patients in stage 0, I or II, wide local excision surgery is the main treatment. This includes the removal of the primary melanoma with adequate excision margins to ensure that all the high-risk cells surrounding the melanoma are removed. After the surgery, a pathologist determines whether margins are clear by examining the excised tumour edges.
If the wound is small it can usually be closed with stitches or staples. A skin graft may be required for a larger wound.
Treatment Options – Advanced Melanoma
Surgery to remove lymph nodes
If lymph nodes are positive for melanoma then surgery is generally undertaken. The most common site for the lymph nodes to be removed is from the neck, armpit (axilla) or groin regions. A removal or block dissection of lymph nodes in the region surrounding the positive lymph node/s is undertaken. A pathologist determines whether the surgical margins are clear of the disease and the number of lymph nodes involved.