Anyone had recurring melanoma?

Posted by birdman518 @birdman518, Apr 9, 2022

Last May I had a melanoma removed from my head. Besides the excision I had SLN biopsies done and fortunately nothing was found. So I was basically declared "clear", and told I only should have quarterly checkups done by me regular dermatologist.
A few months ago I noticed what appeared to be a small scab on my excision area. I assumed (being bald) that I just might have hit my head somehow, but I did not remember doing it. I did take it seriously enough that I saw my dermatologist and he told me it was in fact just a scab.
Now, however, it appears to have recurred in the exact same place, and again I am sure I have not hit my head. This time I ran it by my surgeon at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and his office asked me to come in, which I will be doing next week.
In the meantime I found an article (pretty technical) online which appears to me to be saying that melanoma can recur this way, including with negative SLN results.
Has this happened to anyone here?
Here is the article:
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamasurgery/fullarticle/508912

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A negative result of a sentinel lymph node biopsy is always better than a positive result, but it doesn't guarantee anything. I had one during a breast cancer lumpectomy, and it was good news, but not necessarily definitive or predictive. Or at least that's my understanding.

I sail a lot with people, mostly men, who've had melanomas and get the area rechecked every few months as they are aggressive sneaky cancers. But you might be having some unrelated dermatologic event like reaction to a new sunscreen or soap. It's good that you can see a doctor so quickly to put your mind at ease. [I hope you're using a barrier sunscree, aka the old zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as current research is finding bad stuff about the chemical ones. And the chemical ones have a very short shelf life, especially in Florida's climate. ]

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@callalloo

A negative result of a sentinel lymph node biopsy is always better than a positive result, but it doesn't guarantee anything. I had one during a breast cancer lumpectomy, and it was good news, but not necessarily definitive or predictive. Or at least that's my understanding.

I sail a lot with people, mostly men, who've had melanomas and get the area rechecked every few months as they are aggressive sneaky cancers. But you might be having some unrelated dermatologic event like reaction to a new sunscreen or soap. It's good that you can see a doctor so quickly to put your mind at ease. [I hope you're using a barrier sunscree, aka the old zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as current research is finding bad stuff about the chemical ones. And the chemical ones have a very short shelf life, especially in Florida's climate. ]

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Thanks for replying. I basically never go out without a hat, but I do need to get off the standard sunscreen products, so I will look into that.

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@callalloo

A negative result of a sentinel lymph node biopsy is always better than a positive result, but it doesn't guarantee anything. I had one during a breast cancer lumpectomy, and it was good news, but not necessarily definitive or predictive. Or at least that's my understanding.

I sail a lot with people, mostly men, who've had melanomas and get the area rechecked every few months as they are aggressive sneaky cancers. But you might be having some unrelated dermatologic event like reaction to a new sunscreen or soap. It's good that you can see a doctor so quickly to put your mind at ease. [I hope you're using a barrier sunscree, aka the old zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as current research is finding bad stuff about the chemical ones. And the chemical ones have a very short shelf life, especially in Florida's climate. ]

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@birdman518 Having a melanoma in a spot that is difficult for you to see yourself, makes it awkward, definitely! My melanoma was on my right forearm [scar looks like a shark bite, 32 stitches] so I haven't had that dilemma.

I wonder if it is a subcutaneous stitch that is irritating and attempting an exit? I have a gnarly scar from anodular basal cell skin cancer, at my right collarbone, and that is what happened to me. Almost a year after the procedure, a stitch worked its way to the surface and caused irritation/scabbing. Being a bit of a distance from my dermatologist, I used a warm washcloth to relax the area, and popped the stitch up and out, then removed it myself. Yes, I told her the next time I went, and she understood, although it was not recommended! A bit of antibiotic cream and good-to-go!

Will you let me know what your doctor says?
Ginger

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@gingerw

@birdman518 Having a melanoma in a spot that is difficult for you to see yourself, makes it awkward, definitely! My melanoma was on my right forearm [scar looks like a shark bite, 32 stitches] so I haven't had that dilemma.

I wonder if it is a subcutaneous stitch that is irritating and attempting an exit? I have a gnarly scar from anodular basal cell skin cancer, at my right collarbone, and that is what happened to me. Almost a year after the procedure, a stitch worked its way to the surface and caused irritation/scabbing. Being a bit of a distance from my dermatologist, I used a warm washcloth to relax the area, and popped the stitch up and out, then removed it myself. Yes, I told her the next time I went, and she understood, although it was not recommended! A bit of antibiotic cream and good-to-go!

Will you let me know what your doctor says?
Ginger

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Ginger, I also had a stitch that took a long time to pop up.. it doesn't seem like that is what this is, but I will post after I go back to see the surgeon.

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I lost the love of my life to melanoma and still question why a full body scan was not ordered immediately. Only thing done was for the sentinel nodes in that area. All was allegedly clear but at the 6 month checkup a lump was found in that area – and tumors were then found in the liver and lungs. I keep asking why scans were not dine sooner and believe he would have had a much better outcome!
I suffer from anger and guilt! As well as sadness and loneliness. I think the treatment should have been more aggressive…. So advise everyone to be a strong advocate and insist on all possible tests.

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@mlenney167

I lost the love of my life to melanoma and still question why a full body scan was not ordered immediately. Only thing done was for the sentinel nodes in that area. All was allegedly clear but at the 6 month checkup a lump was found in that area – and tumors were then found in the liver and lungs. I keep asking why scans were not dine sooner and believe he would have had a much better outcome!
I suffer from anger and guilt! As well as sadness and loneliness. I think the treatment should have been more aggressive…. So advise everyone to be a strong advocate and insist on all possible tests.

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Annie, I am so sorry for your loss. I have asked several times whether this could be related to my pretty severe and wide-spread nerve issues… e.g. could it be myeloma, but both cancer surgeon and spine surgeon say "no"…. I still wonder. My biggest problem is that due to my pacemaker I cannot have MRIs! But I will ask cancer surgeon again on Thursday….

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I had a melanoma, (same place as Ginger) right forearm, and looks like a large shark bite! 2 large skin grafts & removal of lymph nodes. This was long ago, in the 60's. Last year I had another one, this time in a place I could not see, on the back of my thigh. It was in the early stages, and removed with no problem.. I have been plagued with numerous serious & rare cancers and then some minor skin cancers, Some due to sun exposure as a teenager, others due to an errant gene.
My latest medical problem is not cancer, but an auto immune encephalitis in my brain. It was worse than all the other cancers put together!
Who knows if all these medical problems are related, the doctors certainly don't! But I still carry on.

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FYI, I went to my cancer surgeon last Thursday and saw the PA.. she feels this is NOT a recurrence and is probably just due to the thin unprotected nature of the excision site. So I am obviously relieved. Thanks to all for replying!

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@birdman518

FYI, I went to my cancer surgeon last Thursday and saw the PA.. she feels this is NOT a recurrence and is probably just due to the thin unprotected nature of the excision site. So I am obviously relieved. Thanks to all for replying!

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Good news! Kudos for staying on top of it.

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@birdman518

FYI, I went to my cancer surgeon last Thursday and saw the PA.. she feels this is NOT a recurrence and is probably just due to the thin unprotected nature of the excision site. So I am obviously relieved. Thanks to all for replying!

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I have had 8 melanomas cut off, but only two found in almost the same spot. One now on my back will be cut off shortly. I guess it does happen . I have had 53 various surgeries and other procedures for cancer-related issues. Most of them came after the surgeon said to me, "You can be glad that's the end of that!" oldkarl

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