Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
  |  Connect with Us: 
Text Size

Health News

Melanoma May Return Years Later in Some

Melanoma May Return Years Later in Some


FRIDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- New research shows that melanoma can recur decades after initial treatment in roughly 9 percent of patients.

The findings show that people who have had melanoma require lifelong follow-up, the study authors said.

The investigators looked at over 4,700 melanoma patients and found that recurrence occurred in 408 patients who had been disease-free for 10 or more years. The recurrence rates were nearly 7 percent after 15 years and 11 percent after 25 years, according to the study in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

But the researchers also found that patients whose melanoma recurred 10 or more years later were less likely to die than those whose melanoma recurred within three years of treatment. Those with late recurrence were about 40 percent less likely to die of melanoma than those with early recurrence, and those with late recurrence also had a better overall survival rate.

Patients whose melanoma did not come back until at least 10 years after treatment were younger on average than those with early recurrence (age 41 versus 51).

Also, patients with a later recurrence tended to have had an original melanoma with less dangerous characteristics, the researchers noted. They also found that men accounted for 66 percent of patients with early recurrence, compared with 57 percent of those with late recurrence.

"For patients with melanoma, survival beyond 10 years without a recurrence has been considered nearly synonymous with a cure," lead investigator Dr. Mark Faries, a professor of surgery at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., said in a journal news release. "However, most studies do not follow-up patients longer than 10 years. Our study found that late melanoma recurrence is not rare and that it occurs more frequently in certain patient groups," he noted.

"It appears the risk of melanoma recurrence is never completely gone," Faries said. "One change that should result from our study is that people need to be followed-up for life with a physician after a diagnosis of melanoma," he pointed out.

"Fortunately, the vast majority of melanoma patients who remain disease-free longer than 10 years will not have a recurrence," Faries added. "However, patients should be aware that persistent or unexplained symptoms anywhere in the body might indicate a recurrence of their melanoma, and they should return to their physician to make sure the symptoms are not related."

Nearly 76,700 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the United States this year, according to the American Cancer Society.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about melanoma.

Health NewsCopyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


Latest News

CNY Brain Aneurysm Awareness Campaign Raises Funds for Crouse Neuroscience Institute
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >