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UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
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Skin Cancer: Questions to Ask

  • What stage of melanoma do I have?
  • What is the size, in millimeters, of the melanoma?
  • Is the melanoma ulcerated?
  • What is the depth of the melanoma?
  • Is it likely that the melanoma has spread? Why or why not?
  • What stage of melanoma do I have?
  • What are my treatment options? What treatment plan do you recommend? Why?
  • What are the goals of this treatment?
  • Will surgery be able to remove all of the cancer? Will I need additional surgery?
  • After the surgical removal of the melanoma, will I need a skin graft?
  • Should I have a sentinel lymph node biopsy to find out if there is spread to the lymph nodes?
  • Should I have another type(s) of treatment following surgery?
  • Is the cancer likely to recur (come back)?
  • What is my prognosis?
  • What follow-up care is necessary? What steps can I take to reduce future occurrences of melanoma?
  • Are my family members at a higher risk of melanoma?
  • Will the remainder of the lymph nodes by removed?
  • What are the potential complications of lymph node surgery?
  • How many lymph nodes are affected?
  • Is there any extracapsular extension of the melanoma (has the melanoma spilled out of the lymph node)? What does this mean?
  • Is radiation therapy recommended after surgery?
  • Do you recommend other types of treatment after surgery? What are the risks and benefits of each treatment?
  • What are the goals of treatment?
  • What are the side effects of each treatment?
  • What clinical trials are open to me?
  • What is my prognosis?
  • What follow-up care is necessary?
  • Where has the disease spread? Is a brain scan or PET scan necessary to determine where it has spread?
  • What are the treatment options?
  • Is surgical removal of the metastases an option (especially if one or two tumors are present)? If so, what are the benefits and risks?
  • What clinical trials are open to me?
Last updated: 5/26/2010 3:10:33 PM