Information for Referring Doctors
The scope of the WAKMAS committee is to provide comprehensive advice regarding the management of complex, advanced and metastatic melanoma. This includes the adequacy of surgical margins of excision for primary melanomas, the role for further investigations and staging (including sentinel node biopsy and PET scanning), the need for adjuvant therapy and information regarding prognosis.
The Western Australian Cancer and Palliative Care Network (WACPCN) has developed a Model of Care (MOC) for management of cutaneous melanoma. The MOC suggests that a multidisciplinary team (MDT) should review patients with clinically complex melanomas in order to formulate optimum management of their disease. At present, WAKMAS is the only MDT to offer patients with cutaneous melanoma, the opportunity for this review.
A copy of our referral form is available on this site for you to download. If you wish to speak to the nurse coordinator and they are unavailable, please leave a message and your call will be returned
Patients with a confirmed diagnosis of melanoma after biopsy of the lesion are able to be seen at the clinic.
Patients with thin melanomas (Breslow thickness < 0.8mm) without complications, are not routinely reviewed unless there is a specific request that has been discussed with the clinical director. For example management of complex lesions in cosmetically sensitive areas or areas difficult to treat by non specialists.
A comprehensive review of the patient’s pathology and other investigations occurs prior to the patient attending the appointment. At the appointment they are personally interviewed and examined by a small multi-disciplinary panel in a non-threatening environment. The examination happens with a nurse and usually the patient’s immediate family are present.
All clinicians involved in the service are experienced in the management of melanoma and come from a range or surgical and medical specialties. These include; dermatology, general surgery, medical oncology, pathology, plastic and reconstructive surgery and radiation oncology. There is also support from the nursing staff, one of whom serves as the coordinator for the service.
The patient therefore benefits from a number of specialist opinions at one consultation.
Following the appointment and the subsequent discussion of the patient at the multi-disciplinary meeting, the opinions and recommendations of the team are communicated back to the referring doctor.
Patients are not charged for this service.
In many cases patients continue to be cared for by their referring doctor.
WAKMAS is not primarily aimed at the provision of treatment to patients with melanoma, however the service will, if requested by the referring doctor, provide the opportunity or the patient to receive definitive medical and surgical care through both the public and private hospital systems.
The service keeps an extensive database of data items of patients we see. This data is used for clinical research in cutaneous melanoma.
In addition, WAKMAS is fully informed of current clinical trials available in Western Australia and inform eligible patients to allow them the opportunity to participate.