PDA

View Full Version : Malignant Melanoma Clarks Level IV


Tiff1203
04-04-2007, 04:58 PM
This a.m. I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and was told something about Clarks Level IV. I am only 24 which he says is young and I have a history of ovarian cancer. I kind of understand this whole thing but it is still setting in. I had a small, pink, perfectly round mole removed from my wrist area on March 21. It burned for 3 hours, I looked up "BuRNING MOLE" on the www and it said to get it checked. 2 weeks later it was off. The doc says that it was 1.1 mm deep, meaning Clarks Level IV, but it could be farther down since that is all they took. He also said it was non-ulcerative which is good news. Now I must get another surgery to remove more skin from the area, a skin graft, PET scan, and sentinel node biopsy. Anyone that can offer me any more information or their experience with this kind of cancer is much appreciated.

2kids1dog
04-05-2007, 04:19 PM
First of all, the more important stat is the 1.1 mm depth, also known as the Breslow depth. The Clark's level is not as indicative of your prognosis.

1.1 mm is still relatively thin, and non-ulcerated is good. This is assuming the biopsy got all of the melanoma. You should have a Sentinel Node Biopsy (SNB) done before the Wide Local Excision (WLE). The WLE basically takes a margin of skin around the mole to make sure they get any stray cancer cells. The SNB is a diagnostic tool, to measure if any lymph nodes have traces of melanoma cells in them. If so, then there are other measures they will discuss.

I highly recommend you get treated at a hospital with experience in melanoma. What area do you live in?

The National Cancer Institute's website ( a .gov site) has lots of good info on melanoma and treatment, I suggest you start there. Good luck!

Ladypepper
04-09-2007, 10:40 AM
Your breslow depth is in the guidelines to have a SNB to check your sentinal lymph node. You will have a WLE to remove the lesion completely. There is a lot of info on the net.

The clarks level is not a highly valued measurement anymore... and a lot of people confuse the clarks level with the "STAGE". This is not your stage. The Breslow depth is more important because it shows how invasive your lesion is.

My melanoma was 5.0 mm (Breslow), clarks level V, and that puts me at a stage IIB. Your doctor will be able to stage you.

Wishing you the best! Keep us posted.

westllen
05-01-2007, 04:53 PM
Ladypepper, you are an inspiration to all of us!

Didn't mean to hijack the thread, just wanted to let you know :D


Your breslow depth is in the guidelines to have a SNB to check your sentinal lymph node. You will have a WLE to remove the lesion completely. There is a lot of info on the net.

The clarks level is not a highly valued measurement anymore... and a lot of people confuse the clarks level with the "STAGE". This is not your stage. The Breslow depth is more important because it shows how invasive your lesion is.

My melanoma was 5.0 mm (Breslow), clarks level V, and that puts me at a stage IIB. Your doctor will be able to stage you.

Wishing you the best! Keep us posted.

Ladypepper
05-01-2007, 08:53 PM
Ladypepper, you are an inspiration to all of us!

Didn't mean to hijack the thread, just wanted to let you know :D

Wow that was very sweet! Thank you for that. :)

westllen
05-02-2007, 02:37 AM
Well it's true ;)

If you can make it thru all you've had to deal with than so can I!!

Sunshinegirl
05-06-2007, 11:51 AM
I have a couple of questions......I'm a 42 y.o. female who has tanned my entire life, many sunburns as a child on Lake Michigan. In 1995 I had a mole removed from my abdomen and was told it was a Clark's Level 2.
Over the next couple of years I had 2 more moles removed and diagnosed with Dysplastic Nevus Syndrom (I've read that it means that you have a lot of moles and are at higher risk for skin cancer.)

Over the years I have continued to tan regularly and have a tanning bed in my home, although I do use self-tanners regularly as well.

I check my skin and go to the derm, but I'm curious if the malignancy could have spread at all. Would it be beneficial to have the SLN test done? What is involved in that and am I just worrying for nothing?

**Please no lectures on tanning. I am aware of the risks involved and used to own a tanning salon.

Thank you for any feedback! ;)

Ladypepper
05-06-2007, 12:50 PM
I am assuming when you say SLN you mean the node biopsy? The time to do that would have been when you had your excision.

What was your breslow depth if you remember? It sounds like you would have been a stage I and if your breslow depth was under 1.0 mm they probably would not have done a SNB. It isn't likely that it spread at that stage. It isn't impossible (especially if you continue to tan) but it isn't likely it metastisized.

Sunshinegirl
05-06-2007, 01:49 PM
They never mentioned the Breslow depth, just told me the Clark's info and said it was malignant melanoma. I went to my general physician who excised it and sent it off for biopsy. Thank you for responding! :angel:

Ladypepper
05-06-2007, 07:06 PM
Did you have any other treatment other than the biopsy? Did they do a WLE to get clean margins? Granted a Clarks level II is not as invasive but it still should have required an excision, unless the biopsy got clean margins. But your doctor should have explained it all to you. Just a suggestion, you may want to get a copy of your pathology report for that biopsy and it will have a Breslow depth on it... measured in mm. It is a good idea to keep copies for your own records anyway. :)