Melanoma Cancer Recurrence

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Melanoma cancer recurrence can be questioned because it will totally depend on the stage and the treatment which is provided to the patient. This is a very difficult cancer to treat if it has taken over the vital organs of the body. This is a cancer which accounts for about 7 % of world skin cancers, but accounts for nearly 80 % of deaths of patients suffering from skin cancer. It is one of the fastest spreading cancers. When this cancer is treated at a stage later than 2A it has a high chance of relapse.

It is important for the patients to keep a regular follow up with their doctor so that the following reasons can be checked: -

  • Examinations by a dermatologist
  • Self-examinations of their skin

Types of melanoma cancer recurrence: -

  1. Local recurrence: - this is a recurrence which happens when the cancer again develops in the actual place from where the tumor was removed, or near that particular site. This is called as local recurrence of the cancer. This type of recurrence is also a sign that the cancer may metastasize even faster now. The endurance rate of melanoma after the recurrence also reduces drastically. Local recurrence can occur months to years after surgical removal of the primary tumor.

  2. Second primary: - This is a case which happens when the cancer has developed at a completely different place in the body of the patient. This can happen when the treatment is going on or when the treatment is just over. This type of melanoma cancer recurrence is very common in people who have melanoma cancer. To avoid such things is in the hands of the patients. One should have regular follow-ups with the dermatologist (skin doctor) and keep on doing a self examination.

  3. Recurrence at a distant site: - This is a recurrence which happens to be the most deadly type of recurrence of melanoma. In this stage the cancer has reoccurred in other parts of the body.

The probability that melanoma will recur after appropriate treatment is called as low-risk, intermediate-risk, or high-risk.

  • When the melanoma is low-risk: it is less than 25 % risk of recurrence
  • When the melanoma is intermediate-risk: 30-50 % risk of recurrence
  • When the melanoma is high-risk: almost more than 60 % risk of recurrence. This is the time when the melanoma has a high risk of

spreading to all the other parts f the body as well as the local site of the cancer.

The risk of melanoma cancer recurrence increases with:

  • If the tumor is thick, then the likelihood of recurrence of this cancer will tremendously rise.
  • If the tumor has ulcerated or has become very big in size
  • The presence of satellite metastases surrounding the primary tumor

It is not that if there is a melanoma cancer recurrence, it will have a bad prognosis and cannot be treated. This is a cancer which can be treated in the recurrence stage also but one should diagnose the melanoma cancer at an early stage of recurrence. As this cancer spreads very fast, it is advisable to the patients who have been treated for this cancer to do a self check of the skin on a daily or weekly basis especially on the site where the cancer was treated. When the melanoma occurs for the second time, it is often observed that the thickness of the tumor is lesser than the original cancer. With early cancer recognization the reoccurred thinner and second melanoma cancers can be treated with simple tumor surgery and carry a very positive prognosis for long-term survival.

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