Stage III Follow-Up
After treatment, all patients with Stage III melanoma should receive a physical examination, including a skin examination, using the following schedule. Regular chest x-rays, CT scans of the trunk and pelvis, and brain MRI may also be recommended.
|Type of Follow-up||Description|
Annually by healthcare provider
Years 1-2: every 3-6 months
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, PET/CT scan, and brain MRI. 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 no 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 melanoma 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.
|5 years after treatment 1||10 years after treatment1|
Stage IIIA: 93%
Stage IIIA: 88%
Stage IIIB: 83%
Stage IIIB: 77%
Stage IIIC: 69%
Stage IIIC: 60%
Stage IIID: 32%
Stage IIID: 24%
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1. Gershenwald JE, Final Version of 2017 AJCC Melanoma Staging and Classification.