• How do you determine how far the melanoma has spread?

    Asked by cancervivor on Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    How do you determine how far the melanoma has spread?

    My Dad has some spots that are Melanoma, he is worried they have spread farther.

    3 Answers from the Community

    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you asking about how cancers are staged or what diagnostic tools may be used to identify cancers and their extent and location?

      over 7 years ago
    • Dick_K's Avatar

      Generally the spread of melanoma is tied directly to the assigned stage. It’s not clear from your question if your father has had the “spots” biopsied; a biopsy is absolutely necessary to know for sure if it is melanoma. If it is melanoma, the biopsy will determine the depth that the skin has been invaded as well as its relative location to the nearest lymph glands. These measurements will help guide the need for additional surgery, probably a wide local excision possibly followed by a sentinel lymph node biopsy.

      Once melanoma has metastasized, further spread can be determined by X-rays, CT, PET, PET/CT, and MRI scans.

      If you can clarify your question as nancyjac mentioned, we might be able to give you more information. Good luck to both you and your father.

      over 7 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      The only way to tell is to have a Dr. examine the spots. Now.

      over 7 years ago

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