Melanoma Survivorship Clinic
A cancer survivor is anyone with cancer, from the time of diagnosis and treatment through the remaining years of life. You are finished with your active cancer treatment and moving to the next phase of your life and next phase of your care. You may find that your life returns to what you knew before you had cancer. Or, you may find that physical, psychosocial or financial concerns continue because of earlier treatments. Patients often call this the “new normal.”
Survivorship care is designed to prevent, detect and treat complications resulting from cancer or its treatment. Through the survivorship clinics, you will receive care based on specific guidelines designed for survivors just like you who have been treated at MD Anderson. The clinic addresses your physical and psychosocial care.
MD Anderson’s Melanoma & Skin Center has two clinics: the Medical Survivorship Clinic and the Surgical Survivorship Clinic. Your care team includes a mid-level provider, nurse, social worker, dietitian and a patient services coordinator. This team works closely with your MD Anderson doctors and nurses.
We will do the following:
- Review your recent medical history and perform a physical exam
- Do tests to find out if your cancer has come back
- Diagnose and help you manage cancer and treatment side effects
- Create a treatment summary and follow-up care plan
- Provide information and referrals related to:
- Cancer screening exams
- Increased risk for other cancers
- Late effects from cancer treatment
- Healthy behaviors that lower cancer risk (limit alcohol, quit smoking, exercise, eat healthy foods and use sun protection)
- MD Anderson or community resources.
It is important that you continue your non-cancer check-ups and required screenings with your primary care doctor in your community.
Side Effects and Symptoms
The survivorship clinic specializes in finding and treating late side effects that may appear months or years after treatment has ended. The side effects may vary and will depend on your cancer type and treatment. Examples are listed below.
- Having a hard time with thinking, remembering and focusing
- Weight gain
- Osteoporosis, a condition that causes weak bones that are more likely to break
- Neuropathy in the hands or feet, a condition that causes numbness, tingling, burning, pinching, pain or not being able to feel hot or cold
- Infertility and sexual side effects, including early menopause in women
- Heart problems, such as shortness of breath and rapid heartbeat
- Numbness and tingling where you had surgery
- Less range of motion or strength in the arm or leg where you had surgery
- Stiffness caused by surgery scars
- Changed physical appearance due to surgery scars
- Lymphedema, or chronic swelling of an arm or leg, may occur following surgery
Some people use more support services than others, depending upon diagnosis and treatment. A dietitian and a social worker will be available to meet with you during your scheduled survivorship appointment. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your health care team.
Contact your MD Anderson physician for referral to the melanoma survivorship clinic. If you have registered for myMDAnderson, you may e-mail your health care team. For more information or to register for myMDAnderson, see your patient services coordinator in the survivorship clinic.
- Lane Read, PA-C: Surgical Oncology
- Maura Glover, PA-C: Medical Oncology
- Brian Rivers, PA-C
Location: Main Building, Floor 9, near Elevator C