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December 10, 2012 at 1:40 am #20839
My sister was just diagnosed with Melanoma. She is also 8 months pregnant. Due to the pregnancy, they cannot do the tests to know which stage she is in. They do know that there’s a blood vessel involved, but aren’t sure if it has spread. They decided to wait to do the radioactive test and surgery until after the baby is born. We’re all so worried about all of this and are unsure if this means that they feel she’s in an okay place?? (The doctor said he felt as though he could “take care of this.”)
Also – can anyone recommend an Oncologist in the New Haven, CT area? We’re not sure where to turn to next, just to sit back, wait for the baby to be born while worrying? Or if we should be doing more??
Thanks to everyone for their help!December 10, 2012 at 5:54 pm #57978JenniParticipant
Welcome to the forum. Sorry you had to join us but I hope we can help you and your sister out some.
I personally haven’t seen an oncologist (since my melanoma was stage 0), however, I believe you are fairly close to Boston and I would recommend Mass General or Beth Israel (I saw a dermatologist that specializes in melanoma at Beth Israel. They have a clinic that is just for people with melanoma histories or a lot of “funny looking” moles to be followed with pictures). Overall, I believe Mass Gen has an amazing team for melanoma. Others I am sure will confirm this as well.
Can you give us a bit more detail on your sister’s diagnosis? Did she have a biopsy done on a mole and if so, what were the results?
JenniDecember 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm #57979
Thanks so much for your response! I’m not sure about the results, but she did have a biopsy. The only thing I know is that they said it’s melanoma and they will do the surgery right after the baby is born. (They’re waiting for the results on another biopsy, too!) She’s at the stage of not wanting to talk about it so I don’t want to ask other info right now. (I have been sending her little things, but I don’t want to overwhelm her.) Since she’s so late in her pregnancy, she can’t leave the area just in case she goes into labor. Hopefully it’s okay to wait!
Thanks again for your help!
~MelissaDecember 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm #57980JenniParticipant
I can totally understand the feelings she is going through now. She is in shock (sorta) and I can only imagine how hard it is doubled with being 8 months pregnant! I had a “possibly melanoma insitu” diagnosed when I was 4 months pregnant and they did a WLE on my leg while I was pregnant…however, I didn’t have to have the lymph node testing done. Still, I was stressed!
At least she is almost done with the pregnancy. I don’t think a few weeks is going to make a big difference for the melanoma. The best thing for your sister now is to be comfortable and to set up all the appts for the WLE and lymph node testing (and whatever other tests). Overwhelming a very pregnant woman is not a good idea, you are right
Hopefully after the baby is born she can get a clear WLE (more skin taken off around the melanoma to check that they got it all) and clear tests on the nodes, etc so she can enjoy this baby!
Best to you and your sister,
JenniDecember 11, 2012 at 12:50 am #57981krissy424Participant
Unfortunate she’s not comfortable sharing the pathology (biopsy) report because based on the numbers we might be able to give you reassurance that her lesion is low risk. No way to know without the report. Of course we respect her privacy, just wish as a mom i could help her understand her condition. Where was the mole located? leg, back, arm?December 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm #57982MelanomamommaParticipant Where is her mole at? I was diagnosed with (Stage I) melanoma when I was 8 months pregnant as well. It was on the back of my leg. I told the oncologist “ok well we’ll wait until she’s born and then do the surgery” and he shook his head and said no, we do it this Thursday… So maybe that’s a good sign that they can wait and she’s at a lower stage???
I really had no idea what it meant at first to be diagnosed with Melanoma. I also had a Stage 0 on the top of my thigh and they performed 2 WLE’s while I was over 8 months pregnant. It was extremely scary and they couldn’t do the node biopsies because of my pregnancy. Everything went very well with the surgery and my daughter did great. I had to be awake since they couldn’t give me anesthesia, but it was easier than the delivery of my daughter!
I’ve been clear of melanoma since then (1.5 years now). I go to the derm tomorrow for my 6-month checkup.
Please tell your sister it’s going to be ok. If they are telling her it can wait, then they probably know what they’re doing. Make sure she is taking care of herself, eating well, getting rest, etc. She will need her strength to keep up with the newborn and surgery after the baby is born. I’ll be thinking about your sister and your family. It’s a scary diagnosis, but we are here to support you all.
RachelDecember 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm #57983
Thanks so much to everyone! I don’t think my sister even asked for a copy of the pathology. She says she just doesn’t want to think about it, so I hate asking her and stressing her out even more. She had one mole on her arm that they said was at least Stage 1. They said they can’t get a clear “staging” until they do the other tests. (Not sure if that makes sense or not?) Then they found another mole on her chest, which they took & sent out. The results aren’t back from that. They said they are going to take out the lymph nodes under her left arm, where the mole is.
I guess the dermatologist wanted her to have it taken care of right away, but the surgical oncologist wants to wait. I keep thinking that if the surgical oncologist wants to wait, it must be okay, but I’m not sure!?
Rachel – I’m so glad to hear you’re doing well!!! I can’t imagine going through the surgery at 8 months pregnant!!December 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm #57984Catherine PooleKeymaster
I can understand your sister’s dilemma. As her sister I would insist she get treatment at a center of melanoma excellence. It can mean a great difference to how she does in the future. Let us know your area and we can help find a good place.
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