Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stages I &II Follow up guidelines

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    I am curious if there are any follow up guidelines after a T1A melanoma?

    I had the WLE done in July and my dermatologist said to come in every 4 months for the first 2 years, then 6 month intervals until year 5, then 1x/yr forever.

    Just visited the oncologist who did the WLE – she seemed surprised I was going in every 4 months.

    Said I would be fine going in 1x/yr – I am happy to go less often, but think maybe 6 month intervals are better?

    I would love to know what other people have been advised to do for follow up.


    I’m not sure, but it’s been a very confusing thing for me. I hear some people say they get chest xrays, other people not. Some people get blood work, other people not. Some people get lymph node ultrasounds, other people not. People go to the dermatologist at different frequencies, some go to an oncologist, some don’t. Doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to any of it. It’s a good question.


    Under the National Heath Service in the UK, for stage 1a it’s a visit to the dermatologist every 3 months for one year and then discharged! No scans or blood work whatsoever.

    I personally think that a year’s follow up is too short and I have chosen to see a consultant dermatologist on a private basis every six months since the end of the first year.


    I was diagnosed with 2 in-situs in late 2011, and I have been seeing my dermatologist every 3 months since then. It may become less frequent someday, but for now its what makes us both feel comfortable. I have also had 3 biopies come back severely atypical since then as well, so I think its a good idea for me to do this until I get some stability with my skin.



    I just passed my 2 year anniversary for a stage 1a. Never saw an oncologist, never had LCH blood test or scans of any kind. In the past 2 years I have gone to the dermatologist every 3 months. I have had multiple biopsies showing hyperplasia, AKs, SKs, early Basel cell and surgery for a Squamous cell carcinoma.

    From reading this forum I have to agree with Cohanja. There does not seem to be any standard for follow up.


    Over the past (almost) year I have had so many appointments with the GP, Dermatologist, Oncologist,Cancer Clinic…..

    They all give me slightly different information and I find it confusing.

    The dermatologist seems the most concerned and is adamant about 4 month skin checks.

    BTW – I am changing dermatologists as my current Dr. makes me anxious and rather angry after a minimal 1.5 wait each visit.

    Both the oncologist who did the WLE and the cancer clinic seemed rather nonchalant, telling me it is low risk and I probably will never have to deal with it again, etc.

    (I only went to the Cancer clinic because it is part of the protocol in Canada – gets you into the statistics I guess?)

    So I have decided it will be better for my mental health to get my skin checked on a 6 month basis as I think every 4 is too often.

    Catherine Poole

    I was on every three months for the first year and then 6 months the second and then annually since. You should be doing your own self exam (with photos of your whole body) as you know your skin better than anyone else! Look for changes. Otherwise, the followup with chest xrays has become less likely to be recommended. Hope you continue in good health!


    Hi All,

    I’m in Canada, and after my Stage 1a was removed, my derm. said come back in six months. As he hadn’t done a skin check or ever taken any history from me, I thought, “what for?” And I never did make another appt. … not that I’m recommending this approach. I just didn’t want to see him again.

    The surgeon who did the WLE asked me back after three months. He checked that the WLE was healed, and very lightly checked my lymph nodes. I think he suggested I come every six months, but in his case, I knew I could lightly feel my lymph nodes myself, so I didn’t feel the need. I check them every now and then, and keep an eye on my skin. I don’t have a lot of moles, and the one that was mel was very different from the rest, so my spouse and I watch for any more “ugly ducklings.” So far, three years out, so good.

    We do have a cancer centre in our city, but going there was never mentioned.

    There is one other derm. who practises in our city, and next time I see my regular doctor I may ask for a referral, as I’ve heard good things about this derm. It would be nice to already be his patient in case of any future issues.

    Best wishes,



    I’m stage 2B, followups with the oncologist every 4 months for 2 years, then every 6 months for 3 years, then once a year for 5 years. Had a baseline CT scan done with contrast. I also see a dermatologist at the cancer center every 4 months and I alternate the 2 so I end up visiting the center every 2 months. The oncologist concentrates more on lymph nodes, the dermatologist more on the moles on my body.


    Hi everyone. I am in Ontario, Canada.

    I am a 1b. Diagnosed in Dec 2013. WLE clear Jan 2014. I am seeing my dermatologist every 3 months and my surgeon every 3 months as well and will continue to do this for 2 if not 3 years (can’t remember which one they said)then switch to 6 mth intervals then 1 year till I am clear for 5 years.


    what does the surgeon do for followup?


    Hey Cohanja,

    My plastic surgeon will be checking my lymph nodes every 3 months.

    Also will be checking the incision site for local recurrance.

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