Understanding
advanced melanoma

Living with advanced melanoma can be challenging. However, the more you know about your diagnosis and treatment options, the more prepared you may be for what’s ahead. The information below can help you get started.

What is melanoma?

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. Advanced melanoma means that the cancer has spread to other parts of your body. KEYTRUDA is approved to treat advanced melanoma or melanoma that cannot be removed by surgery.

What are the stages of melanoma?

There are 5 stages of melanoma. The information below provides a general overview and does not describe the different levels found within each stage. For more detailed information on the stages of melanoma, talk to your doctor.

Previous
  • Stage 0

    Stage 0 Melanoma

    Melanoma cells are found in the outer layer of the skin.

  • Stage 1

    Stage 1 Melanoma

    Melanoma cells have formed a cancerous tumor that has not spread to lymph nodes, lymph vessels, or other parts of the body.

  • Stage 2

    Stage 2 Melanoma

    Melanoma has gotten thicker, but has not spread to lymph nodes, lymph vessels, or distant sites.

  • Stage 3

    Stage 3 Melanoma

    Melanoma has spread to nearby lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and/or nearby skin but has not spread to distant sites.

  • Stage 4

    Stage 4 Melanoma

    Melanoma has spread to other parts of your body.

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How does melanoma staging affect my treatment?

There are tests that determine the stage of your melanoma. These tests include: physical exams, biopsies, and imaging scans. Finding out which stage of melanoma you have can help you and your health care team choose the best treatment.

Taking an active role in your
treatment

If you've been diagnosed with advanced melanoma, it's important to remember that you should be involved in every decision made about your treatment. Your health care team is there to answer any questions you may have and to provide you with all the care, support, and information you need throughout your treatment.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or voice concerns whenever they come up. This can help you take charge of your treatment and make sure your needs are being met during each stage of your cancer care.