Removing the tumor with surgery is the main treatment for melanoma. Medicines are used:

  • If surgery cannot be done
  • When cancer has spread to other places in the body

The types used are:


Immunotherapy changes how the immune system works so it can better fight cancer. The medicines can:

  • Slow the growth of cancer
  • Help the immune system find cancer cells
  • Block certain proteins that allow cancer cells to grow
  • Use a certain virus or vaccine to boost the body's immune system and shrink tumors

Some problems are chills, fever, aches, depression, skin reactions, and feeling tired.

Targeted Therapy

BRAF is a mutation found in the genes. It is found in half of melanomas. This gene makes proteins that speed up the growth of cancer cells. Targeted therapy medicines seek out the cells with BRAF and destroys them. These will not cure late stage melanoma, but they can help you live longer.

Medicines are:

  • Vemurafenib
  • Dabrafenib
  • Trametinib
  • Cobimetinib

Some problems are joint pain, feeling tired, hair loss, rash, itching, sensitivity to the sun, and nausea.

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