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Follow-up for Stage II Melanoma

 

Type of Follow-up Description of Follow-up

Skin Examination

 

Physical
Examination

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imaging Tests

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brain MRI

Annually by healthcare provider

Monthly self-examination

 

For Stage IIA patients:

Years 1-5: every 3-12 months

After Year 5: annually as needed

Monthly self-examination of lymph nodes

 

For Stage IIB and Stage IIC patients:

Years 1-2; every 3-6 months

Years 3-5: every 3-12 months

After Year 5: annually as needed

Monthly self-examination of lymph nodes


For Stage IIA patients:

Only to check for specific symptoms

 

For Stage IIB and IIC patients

Possibly every 3-12 months to check for recurrence.

 

For Stage IIA patients:

None

 

For Stage IIB and IIC patients:

Possibly annually

 

All patients with Stage IIA melanoma should have a skin examination once a year. A physical examination should be performed every 3-12 months for the first 5 years, then once a year as needed. The frequency of a physical examinations depends on the perceived level of risk for new primary melanomas and for the recurrence of the previous tumor.  Imaging tests are performed only for specific symptoms.

 

All patients with Stage IIB and IIC melanoma should have a skin examination once a year. Patients should have a physical examination every 3-6 months for years 1-2, every 3-12 months for years 3-5, and then once a year as needed Imaging tests are recommended if specific signs of cancer appear.  You may also receive imaging tests every 3-12 months to check for cancer recurrence that isn't causing symptoms. Possible tests for screening include a chest x-ray, CT scan, and a PET/CT scan; and a brain MRI every year. 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 back, treatment options will depend on the type of recurrence.

 

With treatment, Stage II melanoma is considered intermediate- to high-risk for local recurrence or distant metastasis. Therefore, early detection of melanoma through skin self-examination and medical examination continues to be of the utmost importance

 

Large-scale studies have shown the following probabilities of disease-free survival. Keep in mind that the statistics shown for survival are averages; everyone's cancer and survival rate is based on many factors and determined on an individual basis.

 

Survival


5 years after treatment (1)

 

10 years after treatment (1) 
         Stage IIA:   81%   

Stage IIA:  67%

         Stage IIB:   70%                  

Stage IIB:  57%

Stage IIC:    53%        

Stage IIC: 40%


For more information on what to do if melanoma recurs click here.

 

Reference
1. American Cancer Society 2011.