Melanoma is the 7th most common cancer in Canada. It is a skin cancer that has the potential to spread to lymph nodes and other organs in the body. 50% of melanomas are thin (less than 1mm) and when treated with wide local excision alone, have a survival of over 95-98%.
The other 50% are high risk thin melanomas (0.75mm-1mm with any high risk feature such as young age <45 years old, ≥ 1mitosis or ulceration), intermediate thick melanomas (1-4mm) or thick (more than 4mm) melanomas need further investigation with a staging procedure known as a sentinel node biopsy to evaluate if melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes.
Not all melanomas are the same and therefore a detailed consultation with your physician/surgeon is very important once the diagnosis has been made.