Questions about melanoma
Asking your doctor questions will help you make an informed choice. You may want to include some of the questions below in your own list.
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?
- Are the latest tests and treatments for melanoma available in this hospital?
- Can you explain the results of the tests to me?
- Are there clinical guidelines for this type of cancer?
- What treatment do you recommend? What is the aim of the treatment?
- How long will treatment take? Will I have to stay in hospital?
- How much will treatment cost? Can the cost be reduced if I can’t afford it?
- How will I know if the treatment is working?
- Are there any clinical trials or research studies I could join?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? How can these be managed?
- Will I have a lot of pain? If I do, what will be done about this?
- Will there be any scarring after the melanoma is removed?
- What are the chances I will get lymphoedema after treatment?
- How often will I need to get my skin checked after treatment? Who should I go to for my skin checks?
- How can I protect myself from the sun and get enough vitamin D?
- If the melanoma returns, how will I know? What treatments could I have?
- Are there any local support groups for people with melanoma?
A/Prof Robyn Saw, Surgical Oncologist, Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, NSW; Craig Brewer, Consumer; Prof Bryan Burmeister, Radiation Oncologist, GenesisCare Fraser Coast and Hervey Bay Hospital, QLD; Tamara Dawson, Consumer, Melanoma & Skin Cancer Advocacy Network; Prof Georgina Long, Co-Medical Director, Melanoma Institute Australia, and Chair, Melanoma Medical Oncology and Translational Research, Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW; A/Prof Alexander Menzies, Medical Oncologist, Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney, Royal North Shore and Mater Hospitals, NSW; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Paige Preston, Chair, Cancer Council’s National Skin Cancer Committee, Cancer Council Australia; Prof H Peter Soyer, Chair in Dermatology and Director, Dermatology Research Centre, The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, and Director, Dermatology Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD; Julie Teraci, Clinical Nurse Consultant and Coordinator, WA Kirkbride Melanoma Advisory Service, WA.
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