Hello Catherine and all who post here. My last post was on January 19, 2013, after I'd had an excision of a stage 1a superficial spreading melanoma on my left biceps. I had a sentinel node biopsy done for my own peace of mind, and everything looked good. At the time, your shared insights were so helpful. I learned a lot about what is important in life from my melanoma experience.
Well, I guess it's time for a refresher! I have top to toe exams every 6 months. My last was in November. Everything looked fine. A month ago, I spotted what I suspected was a new melanoma. It looked exactly like the last one--a raised light-pink translucent bump that appeared, this time, on my right forearm. I visited my dermatologist who biopsied it. Her nurse called me yesterday afternoon to confirm what I suspected.
I don't have a copy of the pathology report yet, but from what I was told, it seems to be very similar in stage to the first one. One difference, the peripheral margins are involved this time. Another difference, my dermatologist recommended I see an oncologist.
I've already scheduled an appointment to meet with my plastic surgeon 4 days from now. I've called an oncologist who's reviewing my referral. I'm seeing my dermatologist for another full body exam.
Here are my questions for all of you. Are there any new recommendations, since 2013, for treatment of a 1a or 1b melanoma? I don't know if this is considered a recurrence or a new primary. Is having a second melanoma an indication that I need further tests or treatments? I was happy with my past treatment here in a Rocky Mountain college/resort town with a population of around 20,000. I can probably have surgery completed within a week or two here. Or, should I think about heading to the big city with a cancer center where I might need to wait longer? Or, have surgery here, including another SNB, and meet with a melanoma specialist later?
Thank you, in advance, for your thoughts. I realize there are no crystal balls. My hope is to have more knowledge when I meet with my doctors.