Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stages I &II I thought thinner is better?!

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  • #21014
    cohanja
    Participant

    It makes no sense to me that with respect to recurrences, patients with thick melanomas have a reduction in future risk of recurrence with time (greatest risk is in the first few years after removal of the lesion); but, with thin melanomas there is a relatively constant risk of recurrent disease and death. I thought thinner is better, but this makes it seem like thinner means you have a much longer time of worrying about recurrence, which is not better. I don’t get it, very confusing.

    #59074
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Is this a study you are referring to? Thinner is absolutely better.

    #59075
    cohanja
    Participant

    I’ve read over and over again in different places that for some reason thinner melanomas, if they are going to recur, do so later, much later, than with thicker ones. Not sure why that is.

    #59076
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    I’ve never seen that in a scientific study. I doubt it is valid. If a “thin” melanoma progresses then most likely the pathologist read it wrong.

    #59077
    cohanja
    Participant

    Ok, I thought there was also the “stray cell”/”rogue cell” that got away theory that also explained thin melanomas progressing

    #59078
    Camille
    Participant

    I also read than thinner melanoma can recur later. Probably because when a thick one is caught there is more chances that it has spread. With thin ones there could probably be microscopic cells that will only show up later. It is worrying as mine was 6 years ago and now I start worrying again as I read 6 year is the time when most thion ones recur. Any thoughts?

    #59079
    cohanja
    Participant

    Is it that microscopic cells probably will show up later, or they probably won’t but if that were to happen (although unlikely) it would happen later (5-6 years later) rather than sooner (1-3 years)? There have been cases of return 10+ years later I believe.

    #59080
    Camille
    Participant

    To me it makes sense although people keep saying that it would recur during the first 2 years but microscopic cells will probably take longer to show up?

    #59081
    Worrywart
    Participant

    It may be as simple as this – the older you are the weaker the immune system.

    #59082
    cohanja
    Participant

    but that assumes that there is always melanoma left in your body after surgery – and its only your immune system keeping it at bay until you get older or have some immunosuppression for some reason. . isn’t it also possible the surgery got all the melanoma and there is none left in your body, and so it doesn’t matter about your age, immune system, etc. . ?

    #59083
    cohanja
    Participant

    i don’t think it’s age specific. . overall, regardless of age, i’ve read if thinner lesions recur, it happens further out than with thicker lesions

    #59084
    Worrywart
    Participant

    Almost everyone has cancer cells in their body(at some point). It is a normal process. What makes cancer dangerous/deadly is when the immune system can’t clean up as quickly as it multiplies.

    #59085
    Camille
    Participant

    I guess with very thin melanomas the chnace that there is no cancer left must be around 98% or 99%

    #59086
    Camille
    Participant

    sorry for the typo errors I have never been a good typist 😆

    #59087
    cohanja
    Participant

    I’ve never actually seen that stat, but I would love to if you have the source.

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