Follow-Up for Stage III Melanoma
Type of Follow-up
Description of Follow-up
Annually by healthcare provider
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
Possibly every 3-12 months to check for recurrence
Possibly each year
All patients with Stage III melanoma should have a skin examination once a year for life. 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 symptoms.
With treatment, Stage III 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 utmost importance.
Large scale studies have shown the following probabilities of disease-free survival:
|5 years after treatment (1)|| 10 years after treatment (1)
|Stage IIIA 78%||Stage IIIA: 68%
|Stage IIIB 59%||
Stage IIIB: 43%
|Stage IIIC 40%||
Stage IIIC: 24%