What to Ask Your Doctor about Stage I 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 and family can lend morale support, help you by asking questions, and help you understand what your doctor has said.
The following questions 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 appointment.
|Diagnosis Questions||Your Notes|
How was it determined that I had Stage I melanoma?
Were there concerning features on the biopsy such as ulceration or a high mitotic rate?
Should I get a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis?
|Treatment Questions||Your Notes|
Do you recommend I have a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB)? Why or why not?
If I need a SLNB, how much experience does the surgeon you are recommending have doing this procedure?
What treatment plan do you recommend? Why?
Have you looked at all my other moles and lymph nodes?
What is my prognosis?
What type of follow-up will I need?
|You Should Also Ask||Your Notes|
How often should I go for a skin exam?
What are the chances of my melanoma recurring?
What are the chances of my developing a new melanoma?
What can I do to reduce my risks of developing another melanoma?
What is the risk of my family members developing melanoma?