Home Forums Melanoma: Newly Diagnosed – Stages I & II just diagnosed with melanoma

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    Just diagnosed with melanoma on Monday. I had a WLE on Tuesday. The melanoma (on my back) was .5mm deep and according to the dr. good cells were found around the biopsy. So they did the WLE 1cm around for precaution. He staged it at 1a. I have a few questions…

    1. How can melanoma be in one mole on my back but not the mole next to it? Plus my back never sees the sun, i never lay out.

    2. Since i had one mole with melanoma, is it possible or higher risk that the others have them or will soon have them?



    Hi Harrison,

    First you should know that a .5 melanoma is thin and has a good prognosis. You should get a copy of your pathology report and post the results so others can help you with the details. Melanoma develops where it develops. Sometimes in a mole, and sometimes a new growth. That is just how it goes. Your risk of getting another melanoma is only 8-10 percent. If you have a lot of moles you should look into whole body photography which can help you watch your moles for change. Otherwise you are lucky to have caught this melanoma so early and hopefully you will never have to deal with it again.



    0.5mm is a thin lesion. I’ve had one of those (I’ve in fact had 3 primaries). Yours should not recur and you should be fine, according to the depth. Note that melanoma does not only occur on sun exposed areas of the skin. That is a common misconception. Also note that the stats around multiple primary melanomas (the 8% likelihood) is not believed to be true in all parts of the world. My doctors have their their own stats of approx. 30%.

    The melanoma on your back was a tumor that either started in a mole that was already there or in melanin producing cells in normal skin. That can happen anywhere, and just because it starts in one mole doesn’t mean it has to start in the one next to it.

    Keep going for check-ups and don’t become complacent about it if your doctors don’t find anything else for a while. There are people that get a second primary many years after the first. Don’t obsess either. Remember that if you catch melanoma early you can stay on top of the disease, as in your case.

    Lastly, be weary of spending too much time on these boards. It’s easy to become paranoid here.

    Best of luck


    AngelaM, I don’t know that I’ve heard that one before about such a big discrepancy of the % likelihood of multiple primaries. 8% versus 30% is a pretty big difference. Are these different studies that have generated such different percentages? Did one study have a bigger sample size? Just wondering cause that seems like such a big difference and you’d think there would be enough people out there where they could look at the numbers and get a true accurate statistic.

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