If melanoma skin cancer spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the area of skin where the cancer started to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. If melanoma skin cancer spreads, it can spread to the following:

  • lymph nodes near where the cancer started (called regional lymph nodes)
  • lung
  • liver
  • other areas of skin away from where the cancer started
  • soft tissue under the skin (called subcutaneous tissue)
  • brain
  • gastrointestinal (GI) tract, such as the small intestine
  • bone
  • adrenal gland

Expert review and references