What to Ask Your Doctor about Stage III Melanoma

When your doctor tells you that you have cancer, it can often be overwhelming. However, it is important to use the time when you are with your doctor to learn as much about your cancer as you can.

Your doctor will provide you some important information about your diagnosis. It is often helpful to bring a friend or family member with you. Friends can lend moral support and help you by asking questions, and help you understand what your doctor has said.

The following questions relate to some of the most important aspects of a melanoma diagnosis and can serve as a guide to help you focus on what questions to ask your doctor.

Remember, it is ALWAYS okay to ask your doctor to repeat or clarify something they have said so that you can better understand it.

You may find it helpful to print out these questions and bring them with you to your next doctor’s visit.

Diagnosis Questions Your Notes

How was it determined that I have Stage III melanoma?

How many of my lymph nodes have melanoma?

Do I have in-transit metastases?

Were they able to completely resect (remove) all of my melanoma?

Treatment Questions Your Notes

Do you recommend a complete lymph node dissection (CLND)?

How much experience do you or the surgeon you are recommending have treating melanoma and doing a CLND?

What treatment plan do you recommend? Why?

Should I consider adjuvant immunotherapy or targeted therapy? What are the side effects of these treatments?

What is my prognosis?

What type of follow-up will I need?

Should I get a second opinion?

Clinical Trial Questions Your Notes

What are clinical trials?

Should I consider enrolling in a clinical trial?

Do you participate in clinical trials?

Should I be referred to a center that has clinical trials?

You Should Also Ask Your Notes

Do I need regular scans? Do I need a brain scan?

How often should I go for a skin exam?

What can I do to reduce my risks of developing another melanoma?

What is the risk of my family members developing melanoma?

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