Melanoma: Questions about radiation

Posted by sherilewis @sherilewis, Oct 13 3:46pm

I have had surgery for melanoma on my upper chest and on my back. I am waiting for the results of another biopsy in the same area on my chest. My concern is twofold: I am wondering if it is wise to have a mammogram at this time and also x-rays of the teeth. I am concerned about the radiation. Thank you.

Liked by grandmaR

Good afternoon and a hearty welcome to you @sherilewis. We are glad that you found us here on Connect. Right off the bat, I'll let you know what we aren't. We are not medically certified or educated. What we are is a caring and sharing cluster of a variety of folks from all over here and there that bring their personal experience to the discussions. And today I think that perhaps I hit the jackpot when it comes to knowledge. Just this summer I had the same surgery for a tumor on my sternum. I recently noticed that I have something left behind on the scar and another one about 6 inches toward the right shoulder.

I had not thought about the issue of mammograms. Let's see what the members of the Skin Group have to say. In the meantime, I will do some checking. Do you have a patient portal that you can access? Perhaps you can add to our knowledge on this one.

And now…..your issue about x-rays of the teeth……..is that the same concern as the mammogram, the radiation?……. or are you worried about the jaw issues (osteonecrosis) with some osteoporosis medications. In some cases, it is better to have your dental work done before beginning the regimen.

Are you working with a timeline?

May you be content and at peace.
Chris

REPLY

Hi @sherilewis, I'd like to add my welcome to @artscaping's. I also extended the title of this discussion to reflect your query about radiation and included the discussion in the Cancer group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/cancer/

I did this so that you can connect with fellow members in both the Skin Health group and Cancer group who have experience with melanoma, like @grandmar @gingerw @joe0818 @gaybinator @bdpp @texas7777 and others.

I agree with Chris that it is better to have any dental work done before treatment. Is it time for your regular mammogram within the next year? If yes, you might wish to ask the surgeon or radiation oncologist about having that done before radiation. Do you know if radiation is the next step or will the results of the biopsy determine next steps?

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Hello!
I know how difficult the waiting can be.
First, I had Melanoma on my toe, Stage 1. I had surgery to remove it and not further action was required. I see the dermatologist every 6 months for a check. To tell the truth, I found the Melanoma during a pedicure, not the doctor. I just transferred my records to a cancer hospital where I feel I will get better care.
My brother had Melanoma on his back. Doctors (Sloan Kettering in NYC) do not agree if it was Stage 2 or 3, so they say Stage 2.5. He also had surgery without further treatment. It's been over 15 years so sees his doctors 1 time a year.
I was just diagnosed with lung cancer. It turned out to be Stage 1. I had surgery. The mass was removed. No further treatment needed except for check ups every 6 months with a CAT scan.
Now my mom had lung cancer. She needed chemo (Also Sloan Kettering). Her doctor told her to get her teeth examined and take care if anything needed to be done. She was given a mammogram at the hospital before treatment as well.
Hope this helps!
Prayers are with you….
Ronnie

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@colleenyoung

Hi @sherilewis, I'd like to add my welcome to @artscaping's. I also extended the title of this discussion to reflect your query about radiation and included the discussion in the Cancer group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/cancer/

I did this so that you can connect with fellow members in both the Skin Health group and Cancer group who have experience with melanoma, like @grandmar @gingerw @joe0818 @gaybinator @bdpp @texas7777 and others.

I agree with Chris that it is better to have any dental work done before treatment. Is it time for your regular mammogram within the next year? If yes, you might wish to ask the surgeon or radiation oncologist about having that done before radiation. Do you know if radiation is the next step or will the results of the biopsy determine next steps?

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@colleenyoung @sherilewis Melanoma can present so many different ways! Mine was on my right forearm, and amelanotic, meaning colorless. If I hadn't pushed for a biopsy, not telling what might have happened!

I had the entire tumor removed, and a skin flap surgery performed with 32 stitches on the surface. Mine was stage 2, Clark Level II, and required no further treatment. There is a full skin check every 6 months. Because mine was done in such a short time from diagnosis, and no after-treatment, there was no need to consider dental work or mammograms.

I suggest conferring with your radiologist, and dentist, for their thoughts on the subject. Let us know what they teach you, so we can all become better informed!
Ginger

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@artscaping

Good afternoon and a hearty welcome to you @sherilewis. We are glad that you found us here on Connect. Right off the bat, I'll let you know what we aren't. We are not medically certified or educated. What we are is a caring and sharing cluster of a variety of folks from all over here and there that bring their personal experience to the discussions. And today I think that perhaps I hit the jackpot when it comes to knowledge. Just this summer I had the same surgery for a tumor on my sternum. I recently noticed that I have something left behind on the scar and another one about 6 inches toward the right shoulder.

I had not thought about the issue of mammograms. Let's see what the members of the Skin Group have to say. In the meantime, I will do some checking. Do you have a patient portal that you can access? Perhaps you can add to our knowledge on this one.

And now…..your issue about x-rays of the teeth……..is that the same concern as the mammogram, the radiation?……. or are you worried about the jaw issues (osteonecrosis) with some osteoporosis medications. In some cases, it is better to have your dental work done before beginning the regimen.

Are you working with a timeline?

May you be content and at peace.
Chris

Jump to this post

Hi Chris. Thank you for your reply. I am not being seen or treated by an oncologist. I have been treated by Mid-Florida Dermatology. I am waiting to get the results from the most recent biopsy on my chest. At the time they took the biopsy, they also froze a sport about an inch from the biopsy location. So at this time, I don't know what the treatment, if any, will be. I have my skin checked every six months, however, I find that I am running over there every time I see a new spot! My concern is the radiation from the mammogram and dental x-rays. My dermatologist has not referred me to an oncologist; I hadn't even thought about that. Someone from this group mentioned that they transferred their records to a cancer center.

Liked by grandmaR

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@sherilewis

Hi Chris. Thank you for your reply. I am not being seen or treated by an oncologist. I have been treated by Mid-Florida Dermatology. I am waiting to get the results from the most recent biopsy on my chest. At the time they took the biopsy, they also froze a sport about an inch from the biopsy location. So at this time, I don't know what the treatment, if any, will be. I have my skin checked every six months, however, I find that I am running over there every time I see a new spot! My concern is the radiation from the mammogram and dental x-rays. My dermatologist has not referred me to an oncologist; I hadn't even thought about that. Someone from this group mentioned that they transferred their records to a cancer center.

Jump to this post

Good Morning,
I am also in mid-Florida.
I did not feel that a 'regular' dermatologist was doing a good enough job.
I just switched to Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa where I had my lung cancer surgery.
I was very pleased with the thoroughness and the care I received.
I have not seen this particular dermatologist, yet, as I am not due for my 6 month checkup.
Hope this helps,
Ronnie

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