• Is it important to consult a melanoma specialist?

    Asked by Sunnysideup on Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    Is it important to consult a melanoma specialist?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I guess that would depend on what you are defining as a melanoma specialist (dermatologist or oncologist) and the stage of cancer. I don't have much experience with dermatology, but I think if it were me, I would want a medical oncologist at the helm, regardless of the type of cancer.

      over 3 years ago
    • Dick_K's Avatar

      Absolutely. Your dermatologist needs to be familiar with all forms of skin cancer but especially melanoma. Early identification is critical to identifying and implementing initial treatment. As to your oncologist, there are just too many new options available today from recently approved drugs or those currently in trials, especially for advanced stages.

      over 3 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      My center positioned me with their top melanoma person automatically, but I still see the dermo who first found the cancer (both at the same center). I looked at every center I could within reason as, like you, I wanted to cover my bases and get the best care possible. My research showed that some of the big "for profit" centers made a lot of promises but then they also really want my money, will cost more to use (distance) and after a through check didn't really offer anything more than the "for profit" I was already at which is closer.

      A lot of this depends on why you are looking. Are you looking for a specialist because you feel you aren't getting the best care or because you think it is advantageous? It never hurts to check all the possibilities, but don't put yourself in a bind when you don't need too. Be objective and beware of big promises without stats to back those up. The large, well known centers I checked out didn't have a better track record in the end than the one I am with, just bigger names and advertising budgets. (This is one time I feel you can't do enough on line research.)

      Which is not to say I don't think I am getting the best care available, I do. But melanoma is pretty straight forward in the treatment options right now. To keep myself feeling confident that I am doing all I can, I keep watching what is happening in Europe and some of the experimental work being done here in the States and take what I learn back to my onc to discuss it with him which is good for us both. I don't believe you should just put yourself in someone else's hands regardless of their reputation and then hope for the best, you have to work together.

      Its easy to think the grass is greener on the other side, but being pragmatic is very important..

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      If your insurance covers it and/or it will make you feel more comfortable with your treatment plan then I would say yes. I feel having a 2nd pair of eyes, especially ones that specialize in my cancer can only help me and my oncology team develop the best treatment plan for me.

      over 3 years ago
    • Sunnysideup's Avatar

      Yes I just got the information from my doctor, who sent me to the local cancer treatment center. The doctor isn't really a melanoma specialist.

      over 3 years ago

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