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Stage 2 and Stage 3 Melanoma

 

If your doctor has told you that you have stage 2 melanoma, this is obviously more serious than a stage 1 diagnosis.

Stage 2 melanomas will be thicker than 2mm and possibly ulcerated. They have a higher risk of the disease progressing further, and may require close surveillance, even without any involvement of lymph nodes. Treatment will be with WLE and nodal staging.

Stage 3 melanoma is melanoma that has spread to the lymph nodes or has in transit deposits of tumour in the skin away from the primary site. It is more likely to have spread to other parts of the body than stage 1or 2 melanoma. The cells can be spread to other parts of the body via the bloodstream or through lymph fluid.

You will be advised that you will need a wide local excision – removing more tissue in the surrounding area. There are guidelines for melanoma treatment : Between 1 & 2 mm – removal of 1-2cm of tissue: Between 2 & 4 mm melanoma – removal of 2-3 cm of tissue If the lymph nodes cannot be felt, and were found by sentinel node biopsy, you may need ultrasound surveillance of the remaining lymph nodes. If the lymph nodes can be felt, you may be offered surgery to remove the lymph nodes in the area (a lymph node dissection).

Unfortunately between 15 & 35% of Stage 2A melanomas will come back at some stage following surgery: between 40 & 70% of stage 2B and 2c melanomas will come back and more than half of stage 3 may come back. You will be given advice and support in this respect.

Following this diagnosis, you will be closely monitored possibly with ultrasound and CT scans and MRI.You must make sure you attend all follow up appointments. Regular checks must be carried out and if you find anything that concerns you, you should seek urgent medical advice.

If you would like to discuss anything mentioned above, please contact us today on 0808 171 2455 or email enquiries@melanomauk.org.uk privacy is guaranteed.

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