I was diagnosed with SSM Breslow .45, Clark level 111. No regression both vertical and radial growth present. Had WLE that showed more melanoma but clean margins. As I read this forum I see others going to an oncologist even for melanoma in situ. I never saw an oncologist. Should I have seen one?
Some places might not allow a stage 1 patient a consult with an oncologist — probably just a derm. I get it – if things progress, it’s nice to have an oncologist. But if your stuff is low risk there isn’t anything an oncologist can offer you. There are no drugs or treatments for stage I, only observation. Oncologists treat active disease and the likelihood that your melanoma will be “active disease” is seems low. Other than palpating your lymph nodes and checking your skin (which a derm can do as well and is probably better at), I’m not sure what they can offer you. So, there may not be a need for a melanoma oncologist at this stage. You could see a cutaneous oncologist for your derm, however. That is something you might consider as their specialty is cancer on the skin but not systemic disease. Basically, a derm that specializes in skin cancers only. But your regular derm is probably fine. If you choose to get an oncologist, I’d probably go local. Make it easy on yourself. If you ever need more advanced help, it’s nice to know you can go to a major center. But your real needs at this point really don’t include an oncologist. My 2 cents.
I would also keep up your self-exams and look into whole body photography if you have a lot of moles to follow. You know your body better than any doctor, no matter his/her speciality and will find something if there is a change first most likely.
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