What is included in the long-term monitoring of lentigo maligna melanoma?

Updated: Dec 19, 2019
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Although early detection of a melanoma recurrence is a major concern, recommendations from different dermatological and oncological organizations vary with respect to who should provide follow-up, as well as duration and frequency of follow-up and the use of imaging and laboratory studies. However, all organizations agree that the physical examination is the cornerstone of follow-up care. [30]

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends at least annual skin exams for life in all melanoma patients, along with patient education in self-examination of skin and lymph nodes. The follow-up schedule should be influenced by factors affecting risk of recurrence, such as family history and presence of atypical moles or dysplastic nevi. The NCCN does not recommend routine blood tests. [19]

For patients with stage 0 in situ through stage IIA melanoma with no evidence of disease, the NCCN recommends a history and physical examination with emphasis on nodes and skin every 6-12 months for 5 years, than annually as clinically indicated. The NCCN recommends against routine radiologic imaging to screen for asympomatic recurrent metastatic disease. [19]


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