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Follow-up care after treatment of malignant melanoma

Goal of follow-up

  • Diagnose local recurrence/distant metastases while the tumor volume is still small and easier treatable, preferably by surgery.
  • Impart knowledge about self-exams and good sun habits
  • Impart security
  • Assess other pigmented lesions

Control frequency and content

  • Malignant melanoma in situ - one simple check for information, scar inspection, as well as education for self-exams and sun habits.
  • Malignant melanoma with Breslow thickness < 1 mm: check-up every 3 months for 3 years, thereafter as needed.
  • Malignant melanoma with Breslow thickness > 1 mm: check-up every 3 months for 3 years, thereafter every 6 months for 2 years and further as necessary. This depends on the thickness of the primary tumor.

Anamnesis

  • Weight loss
  • Pain 
  • Other symptoms

Clinical examination

  • Inspection and palpation of operation scar
  • Palpation of all lymph node regions
  • Inspection of skin surface

Supplementary examinations

  • X-ray examinations depending on the thickness of the melanoma, disease stage, as part of evaluation of treatment and possible inclusion in studies.
  • Ultrasound/CT/MR/PET
  • Blood test screening

In patients who do not participate in clinical studies and who are symptom-free, it is not necessary to perform supplementary examinations.

Mucous membranes

The patient should be checked every 2-3 months with naso/sinoscopy the first year after primary treatment, and every 3-4 months in the second year. Thereafter, biannually for at least 3 years for a total of 5 years.

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