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  • Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

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    Old 12-12-2006, 04:55 AM   #1
    apleice
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    Unhappy Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    Hi, This is not for myself, but rather for my eldest brother who is 39 and 1200klms away from me. I, along with his mum and brother are extremely concerned about him and want some info on his diagnosis that he received yesterday. He is to see a surgeon next monday, but we are all really concerned as most of you can imagine. He developed a lump on his leg an unknown time ago on his calf. He only recently, (last couple of days), went to see a doctor due to his jeans rubbing on it and annoying him. The doctor removed part of it and had it tested. He was diagnosed with it being a malignant melanoma, but we are looking for some direction on what the following means: "clark level 4 nodular malignant melanoma....2mm thickness......12mm lesion embedded". Any help from someone who understands this would be greatly appreciated, another thing that may be useful is that they are going to remove the lymph glands in his groin......I am very worried about him and really need to know what to expect......good or bad.

     
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    Old 12-12-2006, 06:48 AM   #2
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    HI,

    I know what your brother is going through as I was diagnosed with Stage 1B melanoma this past August. I had a mole removed and biopsied that came back positive for Melanoma. I was VERY scared as well. I met with my doctor and was told that I would have to have surgery to remove the margins around where the mole was removed. He also wanted me to have a Sentinal Node Biopsy done before my surgery. This is where they inject some radioactive fluid into the area where the Melanoma was and watch/map which lymphnode this fluid drains to. Then they mark it and you go into surgery where they remove that lymphnode as well as the margins. Both the tissue and my lyphnode cames back Cancer free which was awesome. So make SURE your brother has the Sentinal Node Biopsy done. If the nodes come back clean there's an excellent chance that the Melanoma is nowhere else in his body. A month after my surgery I met with an Oncologist and he wanted me to have a PET scan to make sure that there's no Melanoma elsewhere in my body. I had that done last Thursday and will meet with him tomorrow morning to go over the results.

    Find out what stage your brothers' melanoma is in-that helps in getting more precise info. Plese post anymore questions you may have for me.

     
    Old 12-12-2006, 07:11 AM   #3
    hagios
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    Hello, apliece--

    My father has gone through the same thing. He was diagnosed with melanoma about 4-5 years ago. Here's the basic sequence of events.

    1. He went in to have his knee worked on, only to find a mole that sported stage 3 melanoma.

    2. The dr's performed surgery to remove some lymph nodes from the knee, groin, and one or two other areas--I forget specifically where. (In case you didn't know, lymph nodes act like filters in an aquarium or a ventilation system--they catch impurities...however, normally they can eliminate impurities, but cancer can often be too much for them to handle, hence the reason they are removed.)

    3. They performed an experimental procedure of running chemo through his leg, which killed any remaining forms of cancer.

    4. Throughout the course of this mess, many localized scans, as well as full-body scans were performed. Often these included shots of dye to make cancerous cells more visible.

    5. The experimental procedure was the one that finally did it! He has officially been cancer free for about a year now. He has since been taking shots to prevent a recurrence. The shots contain some chemical that can mess with your mind and sink you into a chemical depression, but the lower-dosage shots aren't so bad. I think 8-9 more months of these shots should be the duration of the treatment.

    6. When it's all said and done, it took 7 normal surgeries plus the experimental one, which makes 8, 1 month of high-dosage preventative injections, 11 months of low-dosage preventative injections (which he is still on), and of course many routine check-ups to make sure that when it's gone it doesn't come back. Sadly, the more treatment you go through, the more your chances of success diminish. As of the end of his injections, he'll be down to a 35% chance of success. Not the greatest of odds, but he's still around and that's all I'm asking for.

    Also, I will tell you of another acquaintence of mine who was diagnosed with cancer. His was so advanced that he was given a month to live. He was a successful, powerful businessman who has money to throw around, so he offered $10,000 towards cancer research for every treatment he receives. He was diagnosed before my dad was. Both my dad and this other guy still own and operate their own businesses on a daily basis. Both are alive and well. Both still have happy family lives. And both are cancer-free.

    Take heart, my friend, and don't lose hope.

     
    Old 12-12-2006, 08:50 AM   #4
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    When you dad had the experimental treatment where they just put chemo is his leg did have the harsh side affects of Chemo? Did he lose his hair?

    Had the melanoma spread to his lymphnodes or other organs?????

     
    Old 12-12-2006, 09:14 AM   #5
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascott1975
    When you dad had the experimental treatment where they just put chemo is his leg did have the harsh side affects of Chemo? Did he lose his hair?

    Had the melanoma spread to his lymphnodes or other organs?????
    The only side effect we noticed was a lack of energy since the chemo is so draining. He did not lose any hair. Any cancer he had was caught while still in lymph nodes and did not spread elsewhere.

     
    Old 12-12-2006, 11:17 AM   #6
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    Thank you so much for you helpful information. I just am praying my PET scan comes back clean- the odds are in my favor since it hadn't spread to my lymphnodes. But it's just really scary!!!

     
    Old 12-12-2006, 12:22 PM   #7
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascott1975
    Thank you so much for you helpful information. I just am praying my PET scan comes back clean- the odds are in my favor since it hadn't spread to my lymphnodes. But it's just really scary!!!
    Be sure and let us know how things turn out.

     
    Old 12-12-2006, 06:28 PM   #8
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    Hi Apleice....I don't know if you read my story about melanoma and it doesn't really matter if you did or not...However, after reading your post I went through some of my brothers medical records and what I found was: Clarks level 4 means that the lesion (or malignant melanoma nodule) has gone beyond just his skin to his reticular dermis....Deeper than just the skin but not quite as deep as the subcutaneous fatty tissue (which is next)....Clarks has five levels and the prognosis gets worse with each level. However, 2mm thick and 12mm embedded (meaning how deep it is) isn't really all that big....Some of my brothers tumors were 2-cm which I guess is huge....Tumors and lesions have only one difference and that is the size....However, your brothers symptoms and diagnosis seem worrisome to me....It would seem that maybe his disease is further progressed than he anticipated. I would recommend SPEEDY treatment.....Whatever treatment may be available and whatever he is willing to try....I think that time is of the essence here...I am not trying to scare you-but, please take this serious....I had no idea how serious this disease is until it hit me and my family HARD...If you wonder what I am talking about read my post called "story about melanoma"....My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family....Please keep us posted as to his progress......good luck and GOD bless.....

     
    Old 12-13-2006, 12:52 AM   #9
    apleice
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    Thank you all so much for your support, my mum has been on here and is very thankful for the info/support. My family has been through a tough time in the last couple of years and this was the icing on a very stale cake, I must say. I will certainly keep updating the progress of my brother, if nothing else it will be a step by step guide to what happens to him for anyone facing this horrible disease. Blazer76, I did read the story you have posted and it was the main reason I decidied to sign up and ask for help. Being a true aussie, my brother used to be a keen surfer and beach fanatic, but at this moment he lives close to the well known Mt Kosciosko, far from any beach and works on a farm. He was on his way to meet his niece and two nephews only weeks ago for the first time, when his car broke down only 2 hours away from my house, we didn't get to see him. These are not the best circumstances to show us just how important it is to keep not only in verbal contact, but more importantly in physical contact with our families. I have not seen my brother for a very long time, somewhere around 7 years, even though when growing up he was my big bro who taught me how to play hockey and taught me so much about life after our dad left us and our family. I will be making more of an effort to stay in touch with my family because of this, though it is sad to think that this is what it took to make me wake up to this..... again thank you all so much and I will keep you updated

     
    Old 12-13-2006, 08:54 AM   #10
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    Please Please stay on top of this Melanoma. Don,t let the Doctors give you the run around.My brother found out he week before Easter he had Melanoma stage 3.Well they put off treatment for one reason or another and when they did want to start a treatment it was experimental which was the month of July by then too late he past away in August.So please please take care and stay after the Doctors fo r help..

     
    Old 12-13-2006, 02:57 PM   #11
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    My PET testcame back clean. No cancer anywhere. Will alternate every 3 months seeing a dermatologist and my oncologist for the next 3 years. Melanoma is SO scary but curable if you get it early. I will continue to pray for all on this board. Thanks so much foe everyone's input. It really helped!!!

     
    Old 12-14-2006, 05:10 AM   #12
    hagios
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!


     
    Old 12-14-2006, 08:23 AM   #13
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    Ascott that's AWESOME......Congrats....You are right about melanoma being treatable if caught early....Please take your follow ups serious!!!! God bless....

     
    Old 12-14-2006, 10:45 AM   #14
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    So Glad to hear your good News

     
    Old 12-17-2006, 05:23 PM   #15
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    Re: Malignant Melanoma on leg...info please!!!

    That's the best news I've heard in a long time

    Good luck! Keep those checkups!

     
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