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crabbycdn 01-18-2004 11:06 AM

Metastazing Melanoma
 
This is new diagnosis for me so I am still in a bit of shock. Having a second biopsy of a larger area done in two weeks. Also seeing a breast specialist. My questions are:
1) Can anybody recommend sites regarding symptoms and progression. I am fully aware of the prognosis so no soft-soaping is required here. I need to be able to make realistic plans and decisions and need to know what is progression of disease and what is not.
2) I have a poor immune system (frequent infections). My understanding was that the hard, painful, swollen lumps in my neck and under my armpits were just a normal response to infection. How am I supposed to know the difference, since I usually have some kind of an infection brewing/recovering? One lymphoma patient I spoke with said that lymphoma is NOT painful. Would this just be this person's experience or is this the way it is for everybody?
3) One specialist says the lump under my arm is a "breast issue", hence the visit to a breast specialist upcoming. I am supposed to get a mammogram...anything else I should be asking the local doctor for?
4) One specialist says, no, the lump under my arm is a lymphatic issue. What tests should I be asking the local doctor for?
5) Are there any other tests I should be getting done locally before going back to the specialist?

Marimac 01-18-2004 11:38 AM

Re: Metastazing Melanoma
 
[QUOTE=crabbycdn]This is new diagnosis for me so I am still in a bit of shock. Having a second biopsy of a larger area done in two weeks. Also seeing a breast specialist. My questions are:
1) Can anybody recommend sites regarding symptoms and progression. I am fully aware of the prognosis so no soft-soaping is required here. I need to be able to make realistic plans and decisions and need to know what is progression of disease and what is not.
2) I have a poor immune system (frequent infections). My understanding was that the hard, painful, swollen lumps in my neck and under my armpits were just a normal response to infection. How am I supposed to know the difference, since I usually have some kind of an infection brewing/recovering? One lymphoma patient I spoke with said that lymphoma is NOT painful. Would this just be this person's experience or is this the way it is for everybody?
3) One specialist says the lump under my arm is a "breast issue", hence the visit to a breast specialist upcoming. I am supposed to get a mammogram...anything else I should be asking the local doctor for?
4) One specialist says, no, the lump under my arm is a lymphatic issue. What tests should I be asking the local doctor for?
5) Are there any other tests I should be getting done locally before going back to the specialist?[/QUOTE]
Unfortunately your questions need to be asked of your primary doctor. But as far as web sites, you will need to put a topic in your browser that you are interested in and then read everything that you can about it. The USA government websites tend to have a good general discussion on these issues. You can put in Breast Cancer for a search and come up with some good information and the board here has good information as well. Go to the top of your page right here and click on the topics. IT will take you to some hard core information about your topic. IT is the best information I have found. It is clear concise and does not lean toward any special money making causes.

lidia09 01-26-2004 10:44 AM

Re: Metastazing Melanoma
 
Hi Crabby
I was a bit confused with the first part of your post. When you say that you're having a second biopsy of a larger area, do you mean a biopsy of a lymph node or a mole? I just wasn't quite sure whether you had actually had the diagnosis that the melanoma had spread elsewhere?

I had a melanoma removed, then at one of my check-ups, 2 years later, a doctor found a lump under my arm - between armpit & breast. I was told I had to leave it for 4 weeks to see if it was just a reaction to an infection, but after the 4 weeks, it was still there. I was referred to a breast surgeon, whose registrar couldn't even find the lump! However, I insisted on staying until she did. About 3 weeks later I had surgery & had 2 large lymph nodes removed. I didn't have a mammogram or any other tests, just a physical breast examination by 3 different doctors.

Thankfully they didn't find any malignancy - it was just some reactionary thing. I'm confused that if you've had a biopsy which shows malignancy, they haven't planned to have surgery like I did. I didn't even have any biopsies, they just cut the whole things out.

I'm not sure that my experience will be of any use to you but just wanted to wish you luck.
Lidia
:)

crabbycdn 01-26-2004 09:07 PM

Re: Metastazing Melanoma
 
Sorry, I am not too familiar with all of the terms. I had a mole removed. The biopsy showed malignant melanoma. I am having a larger part cut out and this is also going to be sent for biopsy to make sure that they got all of "it". I had the mammogram today and one spot of "calcification" showed up in the first series of films. A second set was then run concentrating on this area. I will be seeing a specialist for the next step. The mammogram technician could feel the lump under my arm but it did not show up on the mammogram films. I am not sure if it was out of the "field" or if it was "nothing". This is justs LOTS of wait, wait, wait.

lidia09 02-01-2004 06:34 AM

Re: Metastazing Melanoma
 
Hi Crabby
Same thing happened to me. I had the melanoma removed then a few weeks later they cut a much larger area of () this shape around the original scar, just to make sure they'd got it all. Do you know the details of your melanoma? Mine was less than 1mm thick so that means a very good chance of complete cure. Apparently anything less than 2mm thick is very hopeful that it won't spread.

I hope very much that your story will be the same as mine & that the lymph node is nothing to be concerned about.

Best wishes & hope you will post again to let us know how you are.
Lidia :)


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