This BOOKLET has been produced for a patient diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma or is being evaluated for it.*

Stage IV is advanced melanoma, meaning it has spread from its original site to a distant location in the body. While this diagnosis can be overwhelming, it is important to know that Stage IV melanoma does not mean “end-stage melanoma.”

Fortunately, in the last 10 to 15 years, we have come a long way in treating this stage of melanoma. There are now several effective treatments available, and many more are being investigated. Patients with Stage IV melanoma can live long, productive lives because of these advances. 

This document is designed to help you and your oncology team evaluate treatment options and identify the different considerations you care about in deciding your treatment course. Using this guide, you and your team can weigh the options to make the decision that is right for you. 

For people who have already been diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma, we recommend that you begin your review at the beginning of this document, which starts with treatment planning. If you are still being evaluated for Stage IV melanoma (and want to learn more about imaging and biopsy techniques) we suggest that you first go to the Appendix entitled DIAGNOSING AND MONITORING STAGE IV MELANOMA. This backgrounder provides detail about the tests you will undergo to arrive at a diagnosis. 

Stage IV Melanoma Treatment Options Decision Guide

*Please note, this document has been developed to support decision making for Stage IV cutaneous melanoma, specifically the type that occurs on sun-exposed skin. There are other types of melanoma—ocular, mucosal, and acral lentiginous—that are not discussed here.