Melanoma Treatment

Melanoma surgeon Charlotte Ariyan

Our melanoma experts, including surgical oncologist Charlotte Ariyan (above), are committed to providing each person who comes to us for care with the best possible outcome.

If you need melanoma treatment, or are helping a loved one learn about melanoma treatment, you’ve come to the right place. We want to help you understand your treatment options to get the best outcome possible. This information is meant to help prepare you for the decisions that you and your family will make with the help of your care team.

Memorial Sloan Kettering has leading specialists from all areas of melanoma care. We will design a treatment plan especially for you. Our areas of expertise include surgery, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, rehabilitation, and quality-of-life issues. Working together to choose the best combination of therapies to treat you helps us ensure that we give you the best outcome possible.

Learn more about melanoma care below and how MSK’s expertise can benefit you or your loved one.

Treatment for Early-Stage Melanoma

The main treatment for early-stage melanoma is usually surgery.

Our surgeons bring extraordinary skill to caring for people with the disease. Our goal is to remove the cancer completely while achieving the best possible outcome.

Our surgeons have pioneered approaches to determine how aggressive the disease is and conducted research to improve care by doing less surgery. Some of them are also leading researchers in the field. Learn more about melanoma surgery.

Treatment for Metastatic Melanoma

Metastatic melanoma is cancer that has spread beyond its original location to other parts of the body. Drug therapies are usually part of the treatment plan for metastatic melanoma. Surgery or radiation may also be an option for some people.

The outlook for people with metastatic melanoma has dramatically improved in the past decade. This is due in large part to drug therapies developed at MSK. These new options, which include immunotherapy and targeted therapy, have significantly lengthened lives and enhanced quality of life for many people with this condition. Chemotherapy is used much less commonly than it once was. It remains the best treatment option for some people, however. Your doctor will discuss all of these options with you.

Why choose Memorial Sloan Kettering for melanoma care?

We’re constantly improving the outlook for people with melanoma. In fact, most of the effective treatments developed over the past decade were studied and tested by members of MSK’s melanoma team. This means that our patients have access to clinical trials of new melanoma treatments that are not available at other hospitals and could turn out to be tomorrow’s cures.

Choose Memorial Sloan Kettering for melanoma care because:

  • We provide unparalleled skill and experience in melanoma surgery. We place a strong emphasis on the concept that less is more. Our multidisciplinary team has particular skill in the treatment of large facial melanomas and melanomas that are challenging due to their size or location.
  • People with advanced disease have access to experts who specialize in immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and other medications used to treat advanced melanoma. We may be able to offer you new drug treatments, or combinations of treatments, through our program of clinical trials.
  • We offer specialized expertise for every type and stage of melanoma. For example, our doctors use highly specialized approaches to treat in-transit melanoma (melanoma that has spread throughout a single leg or arm). We have extensive experience managing rare melanoma subtypes. These include skin cancers such as lentigo maligna melanoma and acral lentiginous melanoma as well as eye melanoma and mucosal melanoma.
  • We’re one of the few treatment centers with a radiation oncologist who specializes in melanoma. Our team works to deliver more-effective radiation to melanoma tumors using the most-precise methods available.
  • Our rehabilitation experts design individualized treatment plans. We help manage problems with movement and other side effects of melanoma treatment.
  • We offer surveillance programs for people who are at a high risk of the disease coming back. We are one of the only institutions in the world to offer 3-D total-body photography to screen for melanoma. This technology gives our patients the best chance to catch the disease at its earliest, most treatable stages.
  • Many of the specialists and therapies you need to help with your treatment and recovery are available at our convenient locations on Long Island, as well as in in New Jersey, Westchester County, and Manhattan.