NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Melanoma, Version 1.2014
The third is if you did not have a complete lymph
node dissection after the sentinel lymph node biopsy
found cancer. (Read Part 2 on page 16 for more test
details.) Routine blood tests to check for recurrence
are not recommended. No other follow-up tests are
recommended for stage 0 (in situ) melanoma.
For stage I and II melanomas,
you should check
your lymph nodes during the self-exam of your
skin. You should also have regular medical history
check-ups and physical exams. Your doctor will
look carefully at your lymph nodes and skin during
the physical exam. The chart to the left lists the
recommended exam schedule.
For stage IIB and IIC melanomas,
you may have
imaging tests to screen for cancer recurrence or
metastases. Screening means testing to detect
a disease when there are no signs or symptoms
present. Imaging tests for screening may be done
every 4 to 12 months. These tests may be done for up
to 5 years after treatment has ended. Imaging tests
are not recommended after 5 years if there has been
no recurrence and you don’t have any symptoms.
If follow-up tests show that the cancer has come
treatment options will depend on
the type of recurrence. Persistent melanoma is when
cancer cells remain after surgery or other treatments.
A nonmetastatic recurrence is cancer that has come
back after treatment but hasn’t spread beyond the
area near the first tumor. Metastatic melanoma is
cancer that has spread to parts of the body far from
the first tumor.
For persistent melanoma or
nonmetastatic recurrence, see Part 5.4.
For metastatic melanoma, see Part 5.5.
In situ and local melanoma