Tips

When to see an oncologist for advanced melanoma?

When to see an oncologist for advanced melanoma?

If you have advanced melanoma, you’re likely to see a team of medical specialists. An oncologist (doctor who specializes in cancer) may create your treatment plan. While melanoma can spread quickly, there is usually time to get a second opinion. In fact, some insurance companies require a second opinion.

How does a dermatologist determine the stage of melanoma?

After the skin exam and physical, your dermatologist may recommend testing, such as a CAT scan, MRI, or a blood test. These can also help detect spread. Your dermatologist will use the information from the skin exam, physical, and skin biopsy to determine the stage of your melanoma. Your dermatologist may call this the “clinical stage.”

How can you tell if melanoma has spread beyond the lymph nodes?

The cancer has spread beyond the closest lymph nodes to one or more parts of the body. Some — but not all — patients need testing. Testing can help your dermatologist discover whether the melanoma has spread beyond the skin.

How can you tell if you have melanoma from a skin biopsy?

If you’ve been diagnosed with melanoma, you’ve already had a skin biopsy. This biopsy was taken when you had part (or all) of the suspicious spot removed. After it was removed, a doctor looked at the spot under a microscope to find out if it contained cancer cells. This is currently the only way to tell if someone has skin cancer.

How old was Steve when he was diagnosed with melanoma?

My husband, Steve, was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma in January 2012 at age 34. We have two daughters, ages 2 and 10. He had just started a job working from home and our life seemed to be going so smoothly.

What kind of cancer is Stage 3 melanoma?

Stage 3 melanoma, also written as stage III, is an advanced form of skin cancer. Unlike in stages 1 and 2, the cancer in stage 3 melanoma has spread from the skin cells to the lymph nodes.

How is the stage determined for melanoma skin cancer?

How is the stage determined? The staging system most often used for melanoma is the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM system, which is based on 3 key pieces of information: The extent of the main (primary) tumor (T): How deep has the cancer grown into the skin? Is the cancer ulcerated?

What’s the difference between stage 0 and Stage I melanoma?

Stage 0 and I are localized, meaning they have not spread. Stage 0: Melanoma is localized in the outermost layer of skin and has not advanced deeper. Stage I: The cancer is smaller than 1 mm in Breslow depth, and may or may not be ulcerated.