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Melanoma Treatment

Side Effects of Treatment

Because treating melanoma may damage healthy cells and tissues, unwanted side effects can occur. These side effects will depend on many factors, including the location of the tumor and the type and extent of the treatment. Side effects may not be the same for each person, and they may even change from one treatment session to the next. Before treatment begins, the healthcare team will explain possible side effects and suggest ways to help the patient manage them.

Follow-Up Care After Treatment

People with melanoma have a high risk of developing new melanomas. Some people will also be at risk for a recurrence of the original melanoma in nearby skin or in other parts of the body. To increase the chance of detecting a new or recurrent melanoma as early as possible, patients should follow their doctor's schedule for regular checkups. It is especially important for patients who have dysplastic nevi and a family history of melanoma to have frequent checkups.
Patients should also examine their skin monthly (see Skin Exam and Melanoma Symptoms), and they should follow their doctor's advice about how to reduce their chances of developing another melanoma.
The chance of recurrence is greater for patients whose melanoma was thick or whose melanoma had spread to nearby tissue than for patients with very thin melanomas. Follow-up care for those who have a high risk of recurrence may include:
  • X-rays
  • Blood tests
  • Scans of the chest, liver, bones, and brain.
(Click Melanoma Treatment by Stage to read about treatment options for the specific stages of melanoma.)
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Melanoma Treatments

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