Should I Be Concerned About a Reoccurence with a Previous Melanoma Dx?

Just over 2 yrs ago I had a wide excision and sentinel node biopsy and was Dx with stage 2a Melanoma. Since that first biopsy to find out what was going on I've had 5 other re excisions. The last two of which were moderate/severely precancerous according to my dermatologist and the pathologist report. Is there anything else I should be doing to stay on top of this? Should I be concerned about this? Thank you for your time and assistance.

Doctor Answers 3

Recurrence of melanoma

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I am so glad you are trying to take care of yourself after a difficult diagnosis like this. The part that is sometimes frightening is that usually people who have had a skin cancer, of any kind, are more likely to have additional cancers in the future. So it's good you are going in for regular checks and evaluations because it's allowing any suspicious sites to be checked quickly, which is clearly demonstrated in your recent reports. When I have a patient who has had a previous melanoma, I suggest we do a full body check at least every 6 months. You should continue to do this for the rest of your life.

"This answer has been solicited without seeing this patient and cannot be held as true medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

What Do You Do Now that you have a diagnosis of Melanoma?

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First of all let me say that I am glad that you are trying to be proactive with this difficult diagnosis. Doctors get busy and unfortunately, many do not have a great system in their office to keep up with the skin cancer patients and sometimes they "fall through the cracks".. Once  you have an appointment, and see the doctor, DON'T LEAVE THE OFFICE before scheduling the next visit. They probably have a set schedule of how often you need retesting of lab work and total body skin checks. I always advise pts that, even if its not time for the routine follow up , please come in early if there is something new that you see that is worrisome. For women? It is usually the patient who discovers the cancer. For men? You won't be surprised to learn it is usually their significant other.

Keep looking out for yourself!

Hope this helps!


Beverly Johnson, MD
Silver Spring Dermatologic Surgeon


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You had a serious diagnosis, underwent the proper surgery and being followed by your dermatologist.You should be under the care of the dermatologist and the surgeon for the rest of your life. Follow their advise not the internet.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

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