Support for Melanoma

Doctors at NYU Langone’s Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center play an active role in follow-up care for people with melanoma. When you have completed treatment, you may continue to see your physician every three to six months for skin examinations, which include checking lymph nodes in the neck, underarms, and groin.

Ongoing monitoring may also include imaging tests, such as CT, MRI, or PET scans, depending on whether you’re at risk for melanoma returning based on factors such as the thickness of the original melanoma, whether a break in the skin is also present, or if the cancer has spread or is aggressive.

NYU Langone also offers several support services for people with melanoma during and after treatment.

Physical Rehabilitation

If surgery for melanoma took place near a joint, physicians at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation can prescribe physical therapy to help you maintain flexibility in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other surrounding tissues. This helps to prevent contracture, the tightening of muscles and tendons around a joint. Physical therapy can also help you recover from any weakness or discomfort you may experience as a result of surgery and reconstruction.

Physical therapy takes place at Rusk Rehabilitation, and includes a program of strength and aerobic exercise to address weakness and fatigue caused by melanoma treatment.

Palliative and Integrative Health Therapies

Our palliative care team at Perlmutter Cancer Center provides ongoing treatment for any discomfort you may experience from melanoma or its treatments. Your doctor may prescribe medication or integrative health therapies, such as acupuncture, which may relieve cancer-related pain, and fatigue caused by radiation therapy. Massage therapy and yoga may help reduce stress.

Psychological and Social Support

Support groups and one-on-one counseling sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist are available at Perlmutter Cancer Center. Counseling can often help you and your family manage stress or anxiety. Social workers are available to help you address any financial concerns or logistical issues, such as transportation to your appointments.

Nutrition

Our doctors encourage adopting a healthful diet and getting regular exercise as part of your follow-up care. Registered oncology dietitians at Perlmutter Cancer Center can assess your diet and provide nutrition counseling.

Lymphedema Prevention

Surgery for melanoma, which can include the removal of lymph nodes, may cause damage to lymph vessels, the tubes that carry infection-fighting lymph fluid throughout the body. Damage to these vessels can lead to swelling in nearby areas of the body. For example, damage to vessels in the underarm area can cause lymphedema in the arms, while damage to vessels in the groin area can cause swelling in the legs.

Following an evaluation, doctors at Rusk Rehabilitation can prescribe specialized physical therapy to teach you strategies for avoiding lymphedema, such as wearing special wraps around your arms or legs. Our doctors can also educate you on the early warning signs of lymphedema, such as aching, tingling, or a feeling of fullness in the arm, underarm, or hands, or in the leg, groin, or feet.

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