Melanoma

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    Melanoma


    Well crap.

    So, I had this freckle on my upper thigh that looked a little strange, its always been there, and never got any sun exposure even when I was on the swim team and had to wear a speedo. I went to the dermatologist last week and she removed the whole thing and the results just came back as a melanoma. The good news is she said we caught it early, it was less than 1mm thick which is a stage1, and hadn't gone passed the skin layers. My doc set me up with another appointment, she wants to cut some more around the same spot and a little deeper and have that tested to make sure it is all gone.

    I thought it was strange that it was in a spot that didn't get any sun, the doc said that was pretty typical and that since the skin is one organ it will have an immune response to exposure from any area. Now I will have to have all of my other "freckles" checked.

    Sorry for the depressing post, I just had to talk to "somebody" to get it off my chest.

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    Glad to hear it was insitu. My wife had a "freckle" removed about ten years ago that proved to be Malignant Melanoma...had the same thing done as you: original removal follwed by a wider excison. She's been clear since. As a health care prof., I see alot of the nasty manifestations of MM.. Consider yourself lucky at this point.
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    I just had the extra margin area cut-off. Talk about being liberal with the skin removal. The original removal was about 7mm across, she had this hole punch looking thing to take it out with, it was about 5 stitches, no biggie. When it came back as melanoma, she said they needed to take an extra 1cm around the edges, I now have 28 stitches in my leg. I went to see a specialist at Emory and he motioned something to the effect that she really was being aggressive, lol. Oh well, at least its gone and I caught it early. I have to decide if I want them to biopsy my lymph nodes, the doc said that it was up to me. I probably will have it done just to be on the safe side.
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    Keep us informed, man. Good luck to you!
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    I think I would have the lymph node biopsy done too. The thigh being so close to a fairly rich lymph system make me even more prone to recommend it. A little peace of mind when your biopsy come up clear, I hope.
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    Glad you caught it.
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    I've been having every inch of my skin checked by a dermatologist for several years at least once per year. So far there have been only basal cells burnt or cut off. As hard as it is to schedule time with them, it's worth the effort to have dermatologists look you over. Afer a certain age, all sorts of spots start to appear and these guys know what to look for.
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    Hey Jeff,

    Sorry to hear about that. But sounds like you're in a safe position if it never breached the skin layers. Would likely be a different story if it had...

    I was diagnosed with Melanoma about 15 months ago now. It was a very small dark mole nothing to write home about. After 5 months of my nurse wife nagging me to get it checked out I finally did. I am now very glad that I did! Superficial like yours and fully resolved by surgery (first excision and then second wide excision - done by a plastic surgeon that one on account of there being very little flesh there for easy closure). Took quite a chunk but better to have a scar than the alternative. If your melanoma was 'superficial spreading' type and got early as it has, you maybe don't need the biopsy.

    I expect you'll have to go back every 3-4 months for a year or so for a check up and he'll feel your groin each time to check for swollen nodes.

    Hard not to, but don't sweat it.

    Batesy.
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    anything new, Jeff?
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    I just got checked also 2 basal's and 6 Clarks


    I also am getting surgery for my skin cancer, I am having Mohs surgery done on the two Basals one on my face and the other on my leg, I have 5 others being removed by a plastic surgeon starting in two week. WOW my dog started licking my leg and then I saw a special on TV how dogs can pick up the scent of cancer, I went to the dermatologists and sure enough
    I am lucky these were caught early..............
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    I'm glad to hear that you all are keeping on top of things, and getting those melanomas dignosed and removed as fast as possible.

    Up until about 10 years ago, I thought skin cancer was no big deal.. you have a weird mole, that might be growing, and you get it removed or not, at your convience.

    Not so.

    Skin cancer can be very fast and very agressive. If you have a history of skin cancer in your family, you need to get yourself checked by a dermatologist at least once per year... more often, if you actually have melanomas popping up.

    My dad had this mole on his chest, the doctor removed it, and maybe a year or two later, it was back. He mistakenly thought he'd get it removed when he had time, as he was currently tending to my mom, who had just been diagnosed with lung cancer, and was recovering from surgery whereby they removed 1/2 of one of her lungs.

    He developed a nasty rash around the mole, and one day, when he was putting on deoderant, he noticed a lump under his arm pit. He went to his doctor, and his doctor immediately scheduled him for surgery, to remove the skin cancer on his chest. The doctor also ordered a CAT scan, to see if the cancer had spread.

    Well, the cancer did spread, and my dad had a couple tumors growing in his brain now.

    His oncologist recommended radiation therapy to stop the cancer in his brain, but after his radiation treatments, and more scans, the cancer had spread to his lungs and spine as well.

    Not long after, he was dead.

    Skin cancer is nothing to mess around with. It's fast, and it's deadly. I just don't think it gets much press, like breast cancer.

    -TT
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    Hey TT my condolences to you for the loss of your father, I found these as I said totally by accident. Yes it is a scary thing and my kids even though they are already grown lost their mother to lung cancer......
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparky101 View Post
    I also am getting surgery for my skin cancer, I am having Mohs surgery done on the two Basals one on my face and the other on my leg, I have 5 others being removed by a plastic surgeon starting in two week. WOW my dog started licking my leg and then I saw a special on TV how dogs can pick up the scent of cancer, I went to the dermatologists and sure enough
    I am lucky these were caught early..............
    Sparky, that is freaky (in a miracle kind of way). You have to have one of the best dogs on the planet. Hope everything goes good with your surgeries, keep us informed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    anything new, Jeff?
    I have to go and have my lymph nodes removed in about 3 weeks. Other then that I am good. I have a huge scar, and it hurts a little, but I have been able to start lifting and stuff again. Thanks for asking
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    Quote Originally Posted by TINYTOAD View Post
    I'm glad to hear that you all are keeping on top of things, and getting those melanomas dignosed and removed as fast as possible.

    Up until about 10 years ago, I thought skin cancer was no big deal.. you have a weird mole, that might be growing, and you get it removed or not, at your convience.

    Not so.

    Skin cancer can be very fast and very agressive. If you have a history of skin cancer in your family, you need to get yourself checked by a dermatologist at least once per year... more often, if you actually have melanomas popping up.

    My dad had this mole on his chest, the doctor removed it, and maybe a year or two later, it was back. He mistakenly thought he'd get it removed when he had time, as he was currently tending to my mom, who had just been diagnosed with lung cancer, and was recovering from surgery whereby they removed 1/2 of one of her lungs.

    He developed a nasty rash around the mole, and one day, when he was putting on deoderant, he noticed a lump under his arm pit. He went to his doctor, and his doctor immediately scheduled him for surgery, to remove the skin cancer on his chest. The doctor also ordered a CAT scan, to see if the cancer had spread.

    Well, the cancer did spread, and my dad had a couple tumors growing in his brain now.

    His oncologist recommended radiation therapy to stop the cancer in his brain, but after his radiation treatments, and more scans, the cancer had spread to his lungs and spine as well.

    Not long after, he was dead.

    Skin cancer is nothing to mess around with. It's fast, and it's deadly. I just don't think it gets much press, like breast cancer.

    -TT


    I am so sorry for your loss TT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batesy View Post
    Hey Jeff,

    Sorry to hear about that. But sounds like you're in a safe position if it never breached the skin layers. Would likely be a different story if it had...

    I was diagnosed with Melanoma about 15 months ago now. It was a very small dark mole nothing to write home about. After 5 months of my nurse wife nagging me to get it checked out I finally did. I am now very glad that I did! Superficial like yours and fully resolved by surgery (first excision and then second wide excision - done by a plastic surgeon that one on account of there being very little flesh there for easy closure). Took quite a chunk but better to have a scar than the alternative. If your melanoma was 'superficial spreading' type and got early as it has, you maybe don't need the biopsy.

    I expect you'll have to go back every 3-4 months for a year or so for a check up and he'll feel your groin each time to check for swollen nodes.

    Hard not to, but don't sweat it.

    Batesy.
    He did mention that it was thinner then the new standard for doing a biopsy. I think the old standard was .75 mm and over they automatically did the biopsy and the new standard is 1mm and over. Mine was .86mm so he left it up to me. Statistically I could go with just what I have, but with my luck that would be the only lottery I hit
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    All clear.

    I had the surgery last week and just got the biopsy back yesterday. All four lymph nodes were clear. The surgery wasn't a probelm, although my body doesn't seem to tollerate the degradable stitches that they put under my skin, as they are now infected. Oh well, that's not a big deal

    The worst part of any of that is the radioactive tracer that they use to find the lymph nodes, its like taking 4 shots of hot acid into your body. At least mine was on my upper thigh and not some of the more sesitive places that the radiology tech said she has had to inject it before, like between the toes or on an EYE (yikes).

    Thanks for all the support guys, I really do appreciate it.
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    Excellent, Keep up with your follow-ups. Hope this puts it all behind you.
    Last edited by Carl Hungus; 09-19-2007 at 07:26 AM. Reason: typo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    All clear.

    I had the surgery last week and just got the biopsy back yesterday. All four lymph nodes were clear. The surgery wasn't a probelm, although my body doesn't seem to tollerate the degradable stitches that they put under my skin, as they are now infected. Oh well, that's not a big deal

    The worst part of any of that is the radioactive tracer that they use to find the lymph nodes, its like taking 4 shots of hot acid into your body. At least mine was on my upper thigh and not some of the more sesitive places that the radiology tech said she has had to inject it before, like between the toes or on an EYE (yikes).

    Thanks for all the support guys, I really do appreciate it.
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    Great results, congrats. Now hang in there with the small stuff and appreciate the big one you have avoided. Good Luck and God Bless.
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    Good job nipping it in the bud.

    I am really fair skinned, and am always keeping an eye on my larger freckles. Really only had a handful til I moved to Texas *sigh*.

    Luckily I've been vigilant about sunscreen on my face. So virtually no frecks there.
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