Questions about melanoma
Below are some questions about melanoma to ask your doctor to learn more about the disease, and your care and treatment options. If your doctor gives you answers that you don’t understand, ask for clarification.
Learn useful questions to ask about:
- What type of melanoma do I have? How thick is it?
- Has the melanoma spread? How fast is it growing?
- Did the biopsy remove all of the melanoma?
- What treatment do you recommend? What is the aim of the treatment?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? How can these be managed?
- Will there be any scarring after the melanoma is removed?
- What are the chances I will get lymphoedema after surgery?
- How long will treatment take? Will I have to stay in hospital?
- How much will treatment cost? How can the cost be reduced?
- Will I have a lot of pain with the treatment? If I do, what will be done about this?
- Will there be any long-term effects from treatment?
- Are the latest tests and treatments for this type of cancer available in this hospital?
- Are there any clinical trials or research studies I could join?
- How will I know if the treatment is working?
- How often will I need to get my skin checked after treatment? Who should I go to for my skin checks?
- Are there any local support groups for people with melanoma?
- How can I get enough vitamin D and not get too much sun?
- If the melanoma returns, how will I know? What treatments could I have?
A/Prof Victoria Atkinson, Senior Staff Specialist, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Visiting Medical Oncologist, Greenslopes Private Hospital, and The University of Queensland Clinical School of Medicine, QLD; Adjunct Prof John Kelly AM, Consultant Dermatologist, Victorian Melanoma Service, and Department of Medicine at Alfred Health, Monash University, VIC; Dr Alex Chamberlain, Dermatologist, Glenferrie Dermatology, Victorian Melanoma Service and Monash Univeristy, VIC; Alison Button-Sloan, Melanoma Patients Australia; Peter Cagney, Consumer; Prof Brendon J Coventry, Associate Professor of Surgery, The University of Adelaide, Surgical Oncologist, Royal Adelaide Hospital, and Research Director, Australian Melanoma Research Foundation, SA; Dr David Gyorki, Consultant Surgical Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Liz King, Skin Cancer Prevention Manager, Cancer Council NSW; Shannon Jones, SunSmart Health Professionals Coordinator, Cancer Council Victoria; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Prof Richard Scolyer, Senior Staff Specialist, Tissue Pathology and Diagnostic Oncology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Co-Medical Director, Melanoma Institute Australia and Clinical Professor, The University of Sydney, NSW; Heather Walker, Chair, Cancer Council National Skin Cancer Committee, Cancer Council Australia. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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