New Melanoma diagnosis: next test to see if spread to lymph nodes
I just was told yesterday that my biopsy showed that I have stage 2B melanoma on my scalp. I will be calling today to set up an appointment at Moffitt Cancer center in Tampa (which is only about 45 minutes from me).
I was told that they will do a "dye" test (?) that will attempt to determine if it has moved into my lymph nodes or not. The biopsy showed (somehow) that the cells were actively dividing, thus indicating some urgency. If it has not, the site will be excised and some type of followups will be ordered. Not clear yet exactly, as all is a little hard to absorb.
I appreciate these forums and the people who share their stories!
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Thank you, Ginger! FWIW mine is already listed as stage 2b melanoma. The total area to be cut out is about the size of a quarter, but since it is on my scalp, there is not a lot of skin to work with. It sounds weird but I feel more bummed out about having to deal with the surgical wound than the melanoma!
@birdman518 They might use a cadaver skin transplant. Ask them! If the wound is in a place where you cannot see it easily yourself, ask a family member or good friend to help you. You need to be sureit is taken care of! Since mine was on my right forearm, I was lucky to be left-handed. But still needed help to change things out. I was single and lived alone, but had a good friend to assist me. p.s. Mine was stage 2b, also.
Ginger, I had a stage 2 or 3 (can't recall) melanoma many, many, many years ago. It was also on my lower forearm. I had several lymph nodes removed, and two very large skin grafts, one from my stomach to cover the large site on my arm, and one on my upper thigh to cover the grafted site on my stomach! I was in the hospital for 2 weeks. Of course, this was way back in the 60's , and the cure is much less invasive now.
Well, I now have another melanoma, just popped up within the last skin check. It is called "in situ", which means it has not started to spread yet, and will just require a fairly simple surgery in the drs. office. Big difference! And, no, this was NOT from the sun!
Since I have had 4 other major cancers, not melanomas, the obvious question I have is, why have I had so many cancers, and all somewhat rare types? Genetics I say!
@mermaid7272 Thank you for your story. Like you, I figure it is genetics, also, as I have/had other cancers.
When do you have your upcoming surgery?
The test (I think) is the Clark test-largely based on thickness. I was barely a #2 on my back 20+ yrs. ago. The first years of follow up is important.
In July the dr. will remove an area of skin that was surrounding the mole. I go every 6 months for a full body check up & have been doing this for years. I also have had many basal cell cancers removed, some just burned off, others more serious– I think about 4, had to have Moh's surgery to remove. The ones on my nose left a nasty scar. I am really getting fed up with CANCER!
@mermaid7272 I had MOHS surgery at my right collarbone April 2020, right after pandemic quarantine was called. It took 5 sessions to get clear margins for a nodular basal cell carcinoma. There is a beautiful jagged "j" scar about 6" long. I have earned every scar. My current cancer is in my blood; no surgery for that.
I applaud all skin cancer patients for their dedication to watching over their situations. Sunscreen is so important! All day, all year.
This is newer treatment than years ago when melanoma was a death sentence – back then, they were looking at building T cells. If they do not need to remove lymph nodes, that is a plus. Your outcome should be good; particularly since you are acting on it fairly early. Hang in there!