NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma - page 61

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Melanoma
Version 1.2013
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Part 6: A step-by-step treatment guide
Lymph node dissection:
Surgery to remove some
or all groups of special
disease-fighting cells
(lymph nodes) from the
area near the tumor
Cancer that
spread from the first tumor
to other parts of the body
Primary treatment:
main treatment used to rid
the body of cancer
A test that
uses sound waves to take
pictures of the inside of the
Wide excision:
treatment that removes
the whole tumor and some
surrounding normal tissue
See page 16 for test
details and page 34
for treatment details.
Part 6.3.3 describes the follow-up tests that are recommended after completing
primary or adjuvant treatment for stage III regional melanoma. Follow-up tests
are used to check for cancer recurrence or spread. A recurrence is when the
cancer comes back (recurs) after treatment. Your doctor may suggest more or less
frequent follow-up testing depending on your risk for recurrence.
A complete skin exam by your doctor is recommended every year for life. In
addition, you should examine your own skin and lymph nodes once a month. You
should also have regular medical history check-ups and physical exams. During
the physical exam, your doctor will carefully examine your lymph nodes and skin.
The chart above lists the recommended exam schedule.
Imaging tests are recommended if specific signs of cancer appear. You may
also receive imaging tests to check (screen) for cancer recurrence that isn’t
causing symptoms. Possible imaging tests for screening include a chest x-ray,
6.3.3 Follow-up testing
Follow-up tests
Stage III
• Complete skin exam every year for life,
• Monthly self-exam of skin and lymph nodes,
• Imaging tests for specific symptoms, and
• Medical history and physical exam
Every 3 to 6 months for 2 years, then
Every 3 to 12 months for 3 years, then
Every year as needed,
• Possible imaging tests every 3 to 12 months to screen
for recurrence, and
• Possible brain MRI each year
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