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A melanoma diagnosis can be overwhelming. You will be in shock initially but once the news sinks in, it is important that you learn as much about your diagnosis as you can so that you can participate with your treating clinician in the decisions made as to what happens next.

Knowing the right questions to ask your doctor, deciding whether or not to get a second opinion, and seeking out information about your diagnosis, treatment options and treatment centres are ways of helping you take back some control so that your decisions can be considered and informed.

What to Ask Your Doctor About Your Melanoma Diagnosis

You may find it helpful to print out these questions and bring them with you to your next doctor’s visit. Always try to have a family member or friend accompany you so that they can be an extra pair of ears in the room, possibly taking notes for you. Ask your doctor if you can record his answers for future reference. (Smart phones have this capacity and there are Apps available)

  • Can you go through my Pathology Report and can I have a copy to take away with me?
  • Going through the Pathology Report : What is the size, in millimetres, of the melanoma (Breslow Depth)? Is the melanoma ulcerated? What is the depth of the melanoma (Clark Level)? What is the mitotic rate?
  • What Stage melanoma do I have based on the above information or will I need additional tests/procedures to confirm the Stage?
  • The biopsy showed melanoma, do I have to have wider excision surgery?
  • If so, what is the safe time line to have this surgery?
  • What are the chances of the melanoma returning?
  • How likely is it that the I will have a melanoma recurrence?
  • What are the chances that I will get another primary melanoma?
  • What are my treatment options once the melanoma has been excised?
  • What is my prognosis if I follow this treatment plan?
  • What is the follow-up plan in terms of skin checks, lymph area examinations and/or planned tests/scans?
  • What steps can I take to reduce my risk of developing another melanoma?
  • What is the risk of my family members developing melanoma?
  • Are there clinical trials available for my Stage of melanoma?
  • How do I access these?
Seeking a Second Opinion

It is your right as a patient to get a second opinion if you have reservations about your diagnosis or treatment plan or if information has been poorly communicated to you.Getting a second opinion may help you better understand your diagnosis and or treatment plan. Even though asking a doctor for a second opinion may be intimidating, most doctors treat such requests as routine.

Your specialist or local doctor can refer you to another specialist and you can ask for your results to be sent to the second opinion doctor.

You can ask for a second opinion even if you have started treatment or still want to be treated by your first doctor.

One of the best places to obtain a second opinion is at a Melanoma Unit. At a Melanoma Unit you have access to a multidisciplinary team which includes many cancer experts including dermatologists, surgeons, oncologists, and radiation therapists. Second opinions from a multidisciplinary team at a melanoma unit can provide a very comprehensive review of a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Stay Connected

Damien MacRae and his son Aiden set out to convince LEGO to build a #SunSmart surf lifesaving set and they have done it. Congratulations Lego Surf Rescue ... See MoreSee Less

A terminally ill father and his son are pushing for Australia's iconic surf lifesavers to become the next big Lego theme, in an effort to educate kids about being sun smart. The father and son dream ...

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So we know this sounds too good to be true, but this is basically free money for charity! Just download a toolbar that donates to Melanoma Patients Australia Ltd for free when you shop online. Check it out.
1. Download the Folo Bar for Chrome, Safari or Firefox (it’s two clicks)
2. Shop online as normal
3. Over 700 shops will donate a percentage of any purchase to MPA
Find out more here au.folo.world/cause/melanomapatientsaustralia
Let us know when you've done and we can thank you for helping to support those affected by Melanoma
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Melanoma Patients Australia Ltd has developed this video to help explain how we can help with a melanoma diagnosis. Our mission is to provide support, information and representation for Australians affected by melanoma and to raise awareness of the disease. You can help by sharing this video, let's try to contact as many people affected by melanoma as we can this weekend.
Discover our webpage bit.ly/GoToMPA
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Melanoma Patients Australia Ltd would like to wish you and your families a safe and happy Easter Weekend. ... See MoreSee Less

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Contact us

Head Office:
Level 8, East Wing
Wesley Research Institute
451 Coronation Dve, Auchenflower QLD 4066
PO Box 1771
Toowong BC QLD 4066

Phone: 1300 884 450
Mail: info@melanomapatients.org.au