PhD ceremony: Mr. M. de Vries, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Title: Results, morbidity, and quality of life of melanoma patients undergoing sentinel lymph node staging
Promotor(s): prof. H.J. Hoekstra
Faculty: Medical Sciences
Sentinel lymph node biopsy and additional therapeutic lymph node dissection do not negatively influence the quality of life of patients diagnosed with melanoma. This is important knowledge for approximately 4000 people in the Netherlands who are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma in 2011. The sentinel lymph node biopsy proved to be the strongest prognostic factor for disease free and disease specific survival along with ulceration of the primary melanoma. When the sentinel lymph node contains metastases, additional therapeutic lymph node dissection is recommended. This procedure is associated with a moderately increased risk of short and long term complications. Groin dissections in particular are associated with an increased risk of a slight lymphedema of the affected limb. These dissections had no effect on the quality of life of the patients. Long term results of the sentinel lymph node biopsy showed that patients without metastases have a better disease free and disease specific survival than patients with metastases in the sentinel lymph node (10-year disease specific survival 78% versus 60%).
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