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Treatment of stage I melanoma

The following are treatment options for stage I melanoma. The types of treatments given are based on the unique needs of the person with cancer.


Surgery is the primary treatment for stage I melanoma. The types of surgery are:

  • sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB)
    • Sentinel lymph node biopsy may be done for melanoma thicker than 1 mm.
    • Preferably, it is done at the same time as wide excision.
    • If the SLNB is positive, all of the lymph nodes in the area may be removed.
  • wide excision
    • Wide excision is used to remove the tumour along with a margin of healthy tissue. The size of the margin will depend on the thickness of the tumour and its location.
  • skin reconstruction
    • Skin reconstruction may be necessary depending on the amount of tissue removed.

Clinical trials

People with melanoma may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. For more information, go to clinical trials.


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For more than 50 years, the Canadian Cancer Society’s transportation program has enabled patients to focus their energy on fighting cancer and not on worrying about how they will get to treatment.

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