Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stages I &II CHECK YOUR BELLY BUTTON

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  • #21363
    sarahwyo
    Participant

    not many people actually look in the belly button for changes but please please do it! I didn’t and no Dr ever did either. biggest mistake of my life.

    #61274
    wpatterson4
    Participant

    That’s a great piece of advice. I’ve never even thought of it. What stage was your melanoma?

    #61275
    sarahwyo
    Participant

    I’ve had seven spots removed over the past 3 years all have been stage II. I have surgery in 2 days to have the belly button one removed. I have my fingers crossed this one is II or less but i’m a bit scared all the others have been fairly small and this one is pretty big. I’m really really not looking forward to the pain of getting a new belly button but with any luck this one will be much cuttier!

    #61276
    wpatterson4
    Participant

    STAGE ii or CLARK’S LEVEL ii?

    Seven stage II melanomas is a lot.

    #61277
    sarahwyo
    Participant

    Well i guess i don’t know. IIB is what i was told, don’t know what clarks level is. I go to the dr they cut a small amount out. Then a week or so later they call and have me come back in to have a huge chuck removed, normally about 2 to 2 1/2 inches long. My Dr has said that i’m unlike any other pt she has seen. For whatever reason i grow the moles at a very rapid rate. I was going to a specialty clinic and having the mole mapping done, but the VA stopped approving the referral stating that it was not beneficial. So i just get lots of scars and :D a new belly button tomorrow! :D

    #61278
    wpatterson4
    Participant

    It might be the medical equivalent of an old wives’ tale, but I’ve heard that people who have had three or more melanomas within a few years have a better chance of survival than what you would expect. The going theory was that the body develops defenses against melanoma metastasis.

    #61279
    cohanja
    Participant

    Almost sounds like getting melanoma once is like getting a vaccine for it – helps the body’s immune system fight it off were it to try to develop again. It’s actually not all that easy for the body to develop a second melanoma. They did some studies with mice. They injected live melanoma cells into mice and the mice developed a melanoma primary. Then they tried doing the same thing again. The mice didn’t develop another primary but did develop a type of immune response that is thought to keep other primaries from forming. They think the same type of thing happens in humans given the relatively low incidence of melanoma patients developing more than one primary. I’m going on memory – this is what I recall. But, melanoma, like most cancers, mutates and thus can mutate to avoid immune system defenses that may be in place for earlier melanomas. Thus the reason to catch it early and WLE remove ALL the primary lesion cells. Another later primary may or may not be detected by the immune system depending upon the mutations in the new primary melanocytes. Probably most later new primaries fortunately are detected thus the reason for their rarity.

    #61280
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Haven’t heard this tale, but I do know of folks who took no therapy for advanced disease and ended up without disease and healthy for many years. One is Alicia who posts here. She did take Leukine but it was not proven to work in others.

    Anyhow, people with many primaries are also scrutinizing their skin frequently and having lots of doctor exams too. That could definitely help find things early or before melanoma occurs.

    #61281
    wpatterson4
    Participant

    For what it’s worth…..

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12925389

    Interesting, if brief, stuff.

    #61282
    cohanja
    Participant

    Interesting. You would think an “”immunization effect” would not allow more primaries to form.

    #61283
    wpatterson4
    Participant

    I think they’re saying that it takes that many primaries to induce the effect.

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