The goal of palliative care is to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life for people with cancer. Patients with all stages and types of cancer may receive palliative care. Dr. Alvarado, what can you tell us about palliative care for melanoma?
Well, Dr. Mayzik, the treatments for early stage melanoma are generally curative, meaning they cure the disease. In late stage melanoma, however, treatment may not be able to cure the disease. It may only relieve symptoms. This is an example of palliative care.
Some types of palliative therapy that may be used for late stage melanoma include:
- Surgery to remove lymph nodes or tumors in the lung, gastrointestinal tract, bone, or brain, and
- Radiation therapy to the brain, spinal cord, or bone