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What is the prognosis of stage IIIA melanoma?

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Quick Answer

The prognosis as of 2015 for stage IIIA melanoma is intermediate to high that even with treatment the cancer will reappear in the same area or spread to other parts of the body, according to the At Melanoma Foundation. The earlier the cancer is treated, the better the outcome.

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Full Answer

As of 2015, the five-year survival rate for stage IIIA melanoma was 78 percent and 10 years at 68 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. Survival rates vary greatly depending on a number of factors, but generally patients over age 70 have a lower survival rate. Some studies have found that melanoma found on the soles of the feet, palms of the hands or nail bed tends to be more deadly.

Stage IIIA melanoma is characterized by having spread to one to three lymph nodes but not to other parts of the body, explains the At Melanoma Foundation. The course of treatment is generally to surgically remove the affected lymph nodes and follow up with systemic treatment, such as interferon, which attacks any cancer cells throughout the body. If all of the cancer cannot be removed successfully, patients receive systemic treatment but with the addition of others such as radiation, immunotherapy and targeted medications.

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