Follow-up care of melanoma patients should be tailored to an individual patient’s needs. Patients with Stages I, II, and III disease should receive lifelong dermatologic screening since these patients are at higher risk for developing another primary skin cancer, either melanoma or other type, such as basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas. It is important for such patients to be screened by dermatologists according to recommended schedules. More from the Department of Dermatology.
For those with in situ melanoma or very thin melanomas with a low risk of recurrence, follow-up only with a dermatologist for skin evaluations may be appropriate. For those with intermediate thickness melanomas and no spread to lymph nodes, follow-up evaluation with surgical oncologists to look for evidence of recurrence may also be useful. It is important to note that most melanoma recurrences are detected by patients between exams. We encourage melanoma patients to report new or unusual changes. Patients with high risk for recurrent melanoma (those who have had thick melanomas or positive lymph nodes) are followed by a medical oncologist as well.
For more information regarding patient treatment guidelines and follow-up care, please visit the National Comprehensive Cancer Network website.