Questions you may wish to ask about your melanoma

Ask as many questions as you want to. It’s easy to forget the questions you want to ask when you see your specialist or nurse, so write them down as you think of them and take your list with you to your appointment. Here are some questions you may like to ask:

At diagnosis

  • What treatment do you advise for my melanoma and why?
  • Will my treatment be performed by a doctor who specialises in melanoma?
  • Has my melanoma spread? If so, where to?
  • What are my chances of cure?

About surgery

  • What is the thickness/depth of my melanoma?
  • Has the whole melanoma been removed with a margin of normal cells around it? If not, what is the timeframe for further surgery?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of sentinel node biopsy?
  • If I need a sentinel node biopsy can I get one locally?
  • Do I need any scans before surgery?
  • Are there other treatment choices for me? If not, why not?
  • Are there any clinical trials of new treatments that I should know about?

After treatment

  • Who should I see to have a skin check?
  • Who will manage my regular follow-up checks?

General questions

  • What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?
  • What if I don’t have any treatment?
  • Will I have to stay in hospital, or will I be treated as an outpatient?
  • How long will the treatment take?
  • How much will it affect what I can do?
  • How much will it cost if I decide to be treated privately?
  • Will I have a lot of pain with the treatment? If so, what will be done about this?
  • If I need further treatment, what will it be like and when will it begin?
  • Will the treatment affect me sexually or physically?
  • Will I be able to do normal things?
  • Are there any problems I should watch out for?
  • I would like to have a second opinion. Can you refer me to someone else?
  • Is my cancer hereditary?

If there are answers you do not understand, feel comfortable to say:

  • Can you explain that again?
  • I am not sure what you mean by ...
  • Would you please write that down or draw a diagram.

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