Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV Curveball Prior to Surgery

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    I think the question of whether the lung location is a primary or secondary location is only relevant in the sense that if it were secondary, whether there could still be a primary somewhere else that was spreading.

    There are case reports on primary Melanoma to the lung in the literature, e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16314739

    but of course it will be impossible to prove that there wasn’t a skin primary there before that got cleared by the immune system after it had spread.

    Principially, melanocytes, the cell population from which Melanoma stems, are a very mobile cell population and they can sit anywhere in our body- this would be conceivable with a non-skin primary tumor.

    While this might make an interesting theoretical discussion topic, I personally feel what really matters is whether it will result in a different therapeutical approach- and luckily you got rid off it now! The best Melanoma is one that has been cut out….

    Wishing you all the best,



    I’m now going on nine weeks out from my surgery to remove the lower lobe of my right lung, where the tumor that is the only known location of melanoma was located. Unknown primary. Recovery continues apace. No more pain from the surgery. In fact, I hardly know that I had it except for a little bit of chest congestion (very little) and accompanying rattle, which is par for the course.

    I’ve worked my way back to three miles of hiking one day, and a mile of swimming the next, including my first straight 200 butterfly this morning. I’m a masters swimmer and am chomping at the bit to get back in training next week and see what the four-lobe kid can accomplish in the pool against my age-peer competition. Having my 72nd birthday on Thursday.

    Following Catherine’s advice, I’m consulting at Sloane Kettering on October 1 and had the good fortune to end up seeing Paul Chapman M.D., who played a key role in the development of Yervoy. I’ll get the full scan procedure at the University of Michigan during the following week and be making the decision if I need to or should begin some adjuvant therapy and, if so, what it should be. :D


    It is great to hear about your great revovery from the lung surgery. Take it easy in the pool at first. If I pushed myself too much at first when I got back to running after my lung surgery. I found that I had some sharp pain from the scar tissue in the lung and I would have to take it easy for a couple days.

    The best part is, you are NED now!! Please post again to let us know what, if any, adjuvant treatment you will have.

    I wish you many years of continued health!!

    Catherine Poole

    The rest of us couch potatoes should feel guilty. Butterfly is one of the most strenuous strokes as well! I’ll be anxious to hear what Dr. Chapman says and advises. Let us know.

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