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    Old 06-23-2002, 01:18 PM   #1
    fran73550
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    Join Date: Jun 2002
    Location: Hollis, OK USA
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    THIS MAY SEEM LIKE A LONG STORY BUT ANYONE WITH A BUMP THAT ISN'T A MOLE SHOULD READ THIS! NOT ALL MELANOMA IS FROM A MOLE OR DARK IRREGULAR SHAPED LESION!

    In July, 1999, our nightmare started. My husband noticed a bump on the top of his head. It was skin colored, perfectly round, like he had bumped his head. It was gradually getting larger. He went to a dermatologist who told him it didn't look like anything serious, to have a surgeon remove it. Our local surgeon said it looked like a cyst and he could remove it in his office. He deadened the area however when he cut into the bump it sounded like his knife was hitting glass or something hard. I watched as he dug around and finally cut out a piece for the lab. A frozen biopsy that day said it wasn't cancer and the doctor said he would call us in a few days for the final diagnosis. After a week of hearing nothing I called the doctor, he said the local pathologist didn't know what it was and had sent the tissue to another lab. After waiting another week I called the doctor back, he said the lab didn't know what it was and the tissue had been sent to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Two weeks later the doctor called and said it was cancer and he would need to do outpatient surgery to remove the growth with clear margins. This was done in September, 1999. (The doctor didn't tell us the name of the cancer and we were too naive to pursue it.) He told my husband not to worry, it wasn't the type to spread, if any more bumps came up to come back and he would cut them out. Which we did in January, 2000 and again April, 2000, and again in April, 2000. Each time I was questioning the doctor as to taking wide excisions, giving radiation, and what kind of cancer it was. Finally the last time we were there in April, 2000, I requested copies of all of the pathology reports to take to an oncologist. When the oncologist saw the reports he was very upset. The reports showed this to be a type of soft tissue sarcoma, which is a very serious cancer. He sent us to talk to a radiation oncologist who said we needed to have a wide excision around the area where the tumor was. In June, 2000, my husband had a wide excision of the area with a skin graft from his thigh to cover the area on top of his head. In November, 2000, a bump came up in the middle of the skin graft. We returned to the surgeon who had done the wide excision, he order CT scan of the chest and MRI of the head which showed the tumor had grown into my husband's skull and there was also a tumor in his right lung. We had all of this information sent to another oncologist who immediately sent us to M.D.Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. In February, 2001, the tumor was rediagnosed as melanoma. My husband had extensive surgery on his head in April, 2001. Radiation to his head in May, 2001. Surgery to remove the wedge of his lung with the tumor in June, 2001. In November, 2001, new CT scans of the lung showed numerous tumors in both lungs. He also had a new bump on his head at the edge of the surgery. We came back home and started chemotherapy at a local oncologist. We are on our third type of chemo now and it doesn't appear to be working.

    We recently met a woman who is taking chemotherapy for melanoma. She had a mole removed from her chest 10 years ago. It was very superficial and the doctors felt like there was no need to worry. Six months ago her family physician noticed she was wheezing. A chest x-ray revealed a large tumor in one of her lungs and it was growing into her bronchial tubes. She also had two very large tumors on her ovaries which was all melanoma.

    MELANOMA IS A VERY DEADLY CANCER! IF YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD YOU HAVE IT YOU NEED TO GO TO A LARGE CANCER CENTER NOW!

     
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