View Full Version : newly discovered melanoma..need help quickly

05-30-2007, 07:27 AM
I found out I have melanoma, stage 2 and am trying to get surgery soon. My primary doctor gave me a referral for a general surgeon who works out of one hospital in Corona, CA. It's a small hospital and is backed up with surgeries until July or August. It's May 30, 2007 now. I don't know at what point in stage two my melanoma is. Is waiting that long for surgery going to cause it to go to stage 3 or worse? Will I need chemo or radiation at that point? It's located on the left breast next to the nipple. The surgeon said he would take the nipple and about 4 inches towards the armpit and about 2" wide. I'm a 74 yr. old male, fair skinned, blue eyed. I'm going to try to get a different surgeon that works at a nearer hospital that can perform the surgery sooner. Any suggestions as to what I can do?:confused: :confused:

05-30-2007, 07:55 AM
I don't want to insult you - but are you sure you are "stage" 2 and not level 2? The reason I ask is that a lot of times people confuse level with stage. Normally your stage isn't determined completely until you have had the WLE. What was your breslow and clarks level - if you know it?

I am stage 2b. I was diagnosed in Jan/Feb of 06 and didn't have my surgery until April. Then I had another surgery (re-excision) in May. So far so good. It was decided that I should do Interferon which is a form of chemo. I could not handle it - my kidneys shut down and I could only do 6 high dose treatments. Normally, it is a month of high dose IV's and then 11 months of self injections. Depending on your breslow and risk - will determine your need for Interferon. A lot of people have very minimal side effects, I unfortunately was not one of them.

But don't panic - make sure that you are STAGE II. Also, there is a great doctor who is very experienced with melanoma at Loma Linda - Dr. Godfrey. He gave me my 2nd opinion. He is very good. If your insurance will cover it, he isn't too far from Corona. Also John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica has a melanoma clinic.

Wishing you the best!

05-30-2007, 08:47 AM
You may be right about the Stage 2 versus Level 2. I'm still trying to get adequate information. It seems like everything is going at a snail's pace as far as getting things moving. Pretty frightening. I lost a cousin just 3 years ago with the same thing. Thanks for your quick reply.

05-30-2007, 05:52 PM
Good news! I now have a decent surgery date for June 11th. Fingers crossed.

05-31-2007, 05:00 PM
Good - I am glad you got a closer date. I hope all goes well - let us know.

06-03-2007, 02:33 PM
Hi - Just want to try to ease your mind..if in fact your melanoma is Level II, please do no worry. I had a level II melanoma removed almost 21 years ago with absolutely no problems. I also worked 20+ years in the oncology field and never saw a level II needing chemo or radiation. It is a very curable stage. Good luck to you.

06-11-2007, 10:28 PM
Thank you for your response. Surgery was performed today. This is wife online now. The surgeon said he didn't need chemo or radiation or biopsy of the sentinel lymph node. He realized I had done "homework" as he called it. Another person at the hospital recommended (on the QT) that he get a PET scan to make sure there is no more cancer lurking about. Would we be overdoing it by getting the scan or should it be done as a precaution? It was a level 2, by the way.

06-12-2007, 06:25 PM
Great news that it was a Level II!!! I really do not think a PET scan is necessary. It is quite costly and doubt if insurance would approve it for a Level II melanoma. My follow-up initially consisted of yearly chest X-ray and liver function tests then eventually just dermatologist check-ups. You should do fine. Good luck to you - Tara

06-12-2007, 10:12 PM
I am very glad to hear that it was level II and not stage II. I agree with tara2 that a PET scan really isn't necessary and actually probably would not even be considered at his stage. He has an excellent prognosis. I hope he heals quickly and you can get on with your lives. :) Thanks for updating us.

06-24-2007, 08:35 PM

I REALLY don't want to insult anyone here, or hurt anyone's feelings, but please, don't EVER discourage PETscans for anyone with melanoma!!! My dad had a level I melanoma removed (it was almost level II), and because he didn't receive proper follow up care (regular scans), he now has stage iv melanoma, with tumors EVERYWHERE in his body, including his brain. Every major organ is affected now, and it's horrible. Thing is, there were absolutely NO signs on the outside of his body. No moles, no swollen lymph nodes, nothing that would reveal the horrible disease consuming him from the inside. He's not even 60 years old yet, but he now looks like he's 80. He can barely walk now, because he's become so weak and sick. It's horrible and scary and I WISH someone had told our family how serious this cancer really is.

Melanoma is nothing to mess around with. It is an extremely aggressive cancer, and without proper care, it will kill you. Get regular SCANS, not just check ups withthe looking for moles and feeling for swollen nodes... get SCANS. Don't take no for an answer, either! It's probably going to be a major hassle with your insurance every year, but trust me, it's worth the hassle to not have stage iv melanoma!!!