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View Full Version : melanoma diagnosis--could it be nodular?


azpaul
06-24-2009, 03:07 PM
I was just diagnosed with malignant melanoma stage 1b, Clark level 3-4, and 1.2mm depth. There was no mention of a type being spreading or nodular....but it started with a mole that suddenly grew into a large kind of blood blister looking thing. Now after some internet research, am worried that it is the nodular type. Would the biopsy normally identify it this way? Or since nothing was said, is it likely to be the less aggressive type? Am trying to decide between regular surgery to remove, or surgery to include sentinel node removal.
Thanks for any advice

Oleander53
06-25-2009, 07:07 AM
Hello and sorry your diagnosis brought you here. I have not had a melanoma but have it in my family. I am sure someone will step in and share.

Try to stay calm and be careful of reading information on the internet. It is not all from reliable sources.

May I ask where your melanoma was on your body? When are you scheduled to have it all removed or talk to you Doctor about it? Usually you will go back into the office and they will remove an area around it and check for what they call Clear Margins.....

There are several people here who have had melanoma and they will help. I know it is hard but try to keep your mind calm so you can make good decisions.

Oleander

azpaul
06-26-2009, 12:07 PM
Hello and sorry your diagnosis brought you here. I have not had a melanoma but have it in my family. I am sure someone will step in and share.

Try to stay calm and be careful of reading information on the internet. It is not all from reliable sources.

May I ask where your melanoma was on your body? When are you scheduled to have it all removed or talk to you Doctor about it? Usually you will go back into the office and they will remove an area around it and check for what they call Clear Margins.....

There are several people here who have had melanoma and they will help. I know it is hard but try to keep your mind calm so you can make good decisions.

Oleander
Thanks for your words, Oleander53. My melanoma is located on the shoulder area. I've met with a dermatologist who would do the "margin surgery", but he recommended I should consider having the more complete surgery which would include removing & checking the sentinel lymph node. If positive, then removal of additional lymph nodes would be done. I will be meeting with a general surgeon on Monday to discuss this approach. I am leaning this way now, but will decide after talking to the surgeon. Thanks again.
Paul

Oleander53
06-27-2009, 08:16 AM
Paul, The boards are usually quiet over weekend.

I wanted to tell you my Father had 6 melanomas. YES 6 !!! First one at 58 and his last at age 94. We lost him a year ago. He lived a long and very healthy life. Had it not been for his skin cancers he was great. I want you to see this and know you can have a long life with Melanoma. His were all caught early except his last one on his earlobe and it was agressive probably due to his age. He never had any chemo or radiation. Only surgery to remove the skin around the melanomas. His were never moles but gray to lavender spots that itched. His were back, shoulder, face and neck. He also had Squamous cell, basal cell and Bowen's disease....My brother had his first melanoma 2 years ago at age 58. his was a mole he had all of his life that suddenly changed just a tiny bit. Caught early and he did not need any other treatment but surgery.

I have not had a melanoma YET. I have had Squamous Cell, Basal Cell Cancer and Bowen's disease. I had a Squamous Cell Carcinoma in my genital area which makes the SCC more aggressive. So I go to MD Anderson in Houston to be checked out. Mine all started at age 54. By the way Melanomas and other skin cancers can be in the genital areas on both men and women.. everyone should get a mirror and check themselves out once a month. They are on the rise due to tanning beds.

I am telling you this so you will know I have experience that worry you feel when you get told you have a serious skin cancer. I have to be looked over every 4 weeks and see the Gynecologist Oncologist every 12 weeks now.

Try to stay calm and positive so you can make good decisions. I think if you like your Doctors you should do what they say. That sounds like a good start.

Also my Derm put me on Vit D for cancer prevention..... They recommend 2000 Units a day with food. I take 5000 units per my Doctor. You might want to consider the 1000 to 2000 units a day.

Also always get copies of your Path Reports and any labs. Your medical records belong to you.

Good luck and let us know what happens. Sincerely, Oleander

Chele60
07-06-2009, 11:14 AM
Hi Paul,

It seems I'm a bit late, and I do hope you return and let us know how things are with you. At a depth of 1.2 mm, I'm not sure you will have a "choice." I'm sure the surgeon will want to do a wide excision with sentinal node biopsy.

There usually is no typing, as far as spreading or nodular, at the time of biopsy. That is usually done after surgery when the pathologist is certain of clear margians and can confidently look at everything under a microscope. I, too, had melanoma. I was stage IB, with a depth of .7 mm. I missed the SNB (the "magic" number is 1.0 mm), but there are times I wish I had one. It can give a bit more peace of mind than hoping everything was removed.

Anyway, I wish the best for you and really hope you return and let us know how you are!

azpaul
07-07-2009, 10:31 AM
Hi Chele60,

Thanks for your comments. My surgery is scheduled for tomorrow starting at 6:30 AM with radiology where they will inject some nuclear material to locate the sentinel node. The surgery will include its removal and biopsy as well as the wide margin melanoma removal. I'm going in with confidence they won't find any problem in the lymph and this will take care of it.

I appreciate your concern & Oleander53, and expect to post some positive news following my surgery.

Thanks again,
Paul

Chele60
07-07-2009, 01:01 PM
Thanks for letting us know! I'll be sending good vibes and thoughts your way.

Your melanoma is still fairly thin, and I'm thinking this is all precautionary. I will be looking forward to that good news! :)

Oleander53
07-08-2009, 06:39 AM
Please let us know how you do and what you find out. Any surgery can be scary. Try to stay positive. Oleander

azpaul
07-09-2009, 02:09 PM
My surgery was yesterday morning. Went in at 6:30 AM & they did the radiology thing to locate the lymph nodes, then in to surgery about 10:00. The surgery lasted about 1 1/2 hours, & the surgeon said everything went very well. I've got a big hole in my shoulder now after 2mm margins, and a smaller hole in my armpit where they took out the node. I'm feeling fine & not having any problems except the surgery is on the side where I normally sleep, so have to make an adjustment there. I thought the biopsy on the node would be done during the surgery, but was mistaken, and won't have the results for a few days. So, it'll be a little longer before I can hopefully get some good news. Will let you know when I find out.
Thanks again Chele60 & Oleander53 for your concerns,
Paul

Chele60
07-10-2009, 08:18 AM
Hi Paul ~

I'm so glad the surgery went well. That's good news. Sorry about you having to adjust during sleep, but there's always something, isn't there? Hopefully the biopsy will come back clear and you will be just fine! I'll continue to send good vibes your way!

azpaul
07-18-2009, 10:03 AM
Finally got the results of the post surgery biopsies, & the margins & node all came back clear. Hooray! Thanks Oleander 53 & Chele 60 for your good thoughts & good vibes....they were a great help.
Paul

Chele60
07-22-2009, 07:53 AM
Paul ~

There couldn't be better news than that! I'm so very happy for you!

marilyn1sp
08-21-2010, 11:35 AM
Finally got the results of the post surgery biopsies, & the margins & node all came back clear. Hooray! Thanks Oleander 53 & Chele 60 for your good thoughts & good vibes....they were a great help.
Paul
Great news! So glad for you.
I posted a reply to your earlier post & then found your follow-up one. Glad things turned out well for you.