Member, Stanford Cancer Institute
Little is known about melanoma survivors' long-term symptoms, sun protection practices, and support needs from health providers.Melanoma survivors treated at Stanford Cancer Center from 1995 through 2011 were invited to complete a heath needs survey. We compared responses of survivors by sex, education, time since diagnosis (long-term vs. short-term survivors), and extent of treatment received (wide local excision (WLE) alone versus WLE plus additional surgical or medical treatment (WLE+)).One hundred sixty melanoma survivors (51 % male; 61 % long-term; 73 % WLE+) provided evaluable data. On average, patients were 62 years of age (SD = 14), highly educated (75 % college degree), and Caucasian (94 %). Overall, participants rated anxiety as the most prevalent symptom (34 %). Seventy percent reported that their health provider did not address their symptoms, and 53 % requested education about melanoma-specific issues. Following treatment, women spent significantly less time seeking a tan compared with men (p = 0.01), had more extremity swelling (p = 0.014), and expressed higher need for additional services (p = 0.03). Long-term survivors decreased their use of tanning beds (p = 0.03) and time spent seeking a tan (p = 0.002) and were less likely to receive skin screening every 3-6 months (p < 0.001) compared with short-term survivors. WLE+ survivors reported greater physical long-term effects than WLE survivors (p ≤ 0.001) following treatment.Melanoma survivors experience continuing symptoms long after treatment, namely anxiety, and they express a need for information about long-term melanoma effects, psychosocial support, and prevention of further skin cancer.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00520-014-2286-0
View details for PubMedID 24879390
View details for Web of Science ID 000311065300004