Melanoma in New Zealand


Advanced melanoma

What is advanced melanoma

Advanced melanoma means the cancer has spread from where it started to another part of the body. The spread occurs through the lymphatic system and/or the blood vessels. It is also called stage 4 melanoma or metastatic melanoma. The melanoma may have already spread when it is diagnosed. Or, it may come back in another part of the body some time after it was first diagnosed and treated.

Melanoma can spread to these places:

Melanoma can spread to almost anywhere in the body. The most common places for it to spread are the:

  • Lungs
  • Liver
  • Bones
  • Brain
  • Stomach (abdomen)
  • Lymph nodes

Remember that melanoma may cause symptoms depending on where in the body it has spread to. But if you get aches or pains, they may not always be due to the melanoma.

Check with your doctor or specialist nurse about any symptom that is worrying you. It may not be caused by your cancer but if it is, the sooner you get treatment the better.

KEYTRUDA for melanoma

How is melanoma diagnosed

How to access KEYTRUDA


KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) 50mg powder for infusion
KEYTRUDA is a Prescription Only Medicine Use: KEYTRUDA is used in the treatment of melanoma which cannot be removed by surgery alone or when it has spread to multiple sites in the body. In the treatment of a kind of lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the treatment of classical Hodgkin Lymphoma (cHL). In the treatment of urothelial carcinoma, including bladder cancer. Side effects: Immune-mediated side effects including inflammation of the lungs, colon, liver, kidneys, pituitary gland, brain, eye, muscles, nervous system, pancreas, and heart, thyroid disorders, type 1 diabetes mellitus. Severe skin reactions including Steven-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Severe infusion reactions including hypersensitivity and anaphylaxis. Transplant recipients: rejection of a transplanted organ, graft-versus- host-disease (in people with a bone marrow transplant using donor cells). Very common side effects include diarrhea, nausea, itching, rash, joint pain, back pain, feeling tired, cough, patches of discoloured skin, stomach pain, decreased levels of sodium in blood. Tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, shortness of breath, rash, itching, headache, hair loss, and, infections of the upper respiratory tract were reported when given in combination with chemotherapy. You may experience more than one side effect at the same time. All medicines have risks and benefits. Talk to your doctor to see if KEYTRUDA is right for you. KEYTRUDA is a funded medicine for melanoma patients– restrictions apply. KEYTRUDA is an unfunded medicine for NSCLC, cHL and urothelial carcinoma patients. Ask your health professional the cost of the medicine and any other medical fees that may apply. Use only as directed and if symptoms continue or you have side effects, see your doctor, pharmacist, or health professional. Based on data sheet prepared 16 October 2017. Marketed by: Merck Sharp & Dohme (New Zealand) Limited, Newmarket, Auckland. For additional product information, consult the Consumer Medicine Information (CMI), available on request, phone 0800 500 673 or refer to the Medsafe website www.medsafe.govt.nz.

This site is intended for New Zealand residents.

References to support this are available on request.

MSD recommends people always seek the medical advice of their healthcare professional.

Copyright © 2017 Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2017 Merck Sharp & Dohme (New Zealand) Limited. Level 3, 123 Carlton Gore Road, Newmarket, Auckland. All rights reserved.

ONCO-1208503-0027 First Issued November 2017 TAPS NA9401 essence MSD8360