Stage IIA Melanoma Testing/Treatment options

Posted By
jja82
1/8/2019 3:11pm
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Replies: 2

Hi, I am being seen for Melanoma Stage IIA since Jan 2017 - wide excision, margins negative, SLNB/nodes negative, thickness 1.4MM, ulcerated, pt2b, arm area..  Also just had a second melanoma insitu excised negative margins (collar bone area) in 11/2018.

I am being seen every 3 months for checkups with dermagraphy review, and was hoping to understand what treatment, and testing options (scans, etc), and the frequency are being done for similar patients that have Stage IIA at your facility.

Thank you.

After my initial treatment for Stage IIA Acral Lentiginous Melanoma, I had check ups every 3 months for the first 3 years, then every 6 months for the rest of my life. At all of these visits, my doctor has checked my lymph nodes by palpating and feeling for swelling. They also looked me over very thoroughly and ask if I have noticed anything new pop up. 

For patients with Stage IIA like us, they will not perform any scans or radiographic studies proactively, such as CT or PET scans. Doctors generally will not order those kind of tests for you routinely. However, if you ever present with suspicions symptoms, they will authorize them for you. In my case, I actually began having a persistent headache a couple of years after my initial treatment, which lasted more than a month. At my next 3-month appointment, I told them about it and they ordered a CT scan of my brain. Thankfully the results were negative...meaning they found everything to be normal. The final diagnosis was that my eyesight was slipping (due to normal aging) and I needed to get prescription eye glasses. The headaches were believed to be due to eye fatigue.

I am now 8 years NED. I hope this helps give you some peace of mind.

Take care,

Mark 2A

Interestingly, the American Academy of Dermatology recently published their latest recommendations for staging and monitoring melanoma. According to those guidelines, you would be 2b (1-2mm thickness, ulcerated). Their recommendation for 2b is as follows:

Patients with stage IIB and greater tumours also likely to benefit from radiological testing for 3 two five years.

http://www.dermatologytimes.com/melanoma/aad-updates-cutaneous-melanoma-guidelines