Home Forums Melanoma: Newly Diagnosed – Stages I & II newly diagnosed nodular melanoma

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    I’m new to this and glad I found this forum because I feel sick and scared about my diagnosis. I’m 29 (turning 30 next week). I had a biopsy of a mole on my throat done about 1 month ago, and just heard back last week that it was melanoma. 3 different labs looked at it, it came back with melanoma consensus. Went in to meet the plastic surgeon who was recommended and received the pathology report:

    malignant melanoma

    nodular type (spitzoid)

    vertical growth present

    level IV

    .47 mm

    I have a surgery and sentinel node biopsy scheduled for their first available appointment which is june 4. From what I’ve read about nodular melanoma, mere weeks can make a difference because it is a fast spreading type. What can I do? Is this too long to wait or am I being overly scared for nothing and just accept it and try to forget about it until then? Thank you so much in advance for any thoughts and comments.


    Hi, just double checking before I comment, the tumor was .47 mm?


    Is sentinel node biopsy needed for 0.47mm thickness? I’m not as familiar with nodular, so maybe it’s different, but for superficial spreading in most cases 0.47mm would not warrant SNB.


    Yes, it is .47mm. Is that hopeful?

    The biopsy was “unusual” which is why it was sent to 3 labs to take a look, and my case was presented at a conference. Consensus was malignant nodular melanoma and recommend complete removal and SNB.


    Who read your pathology? Spitzoid lesions are very complicated. I would find out who read slides bc there is a fine line between benign spitz and melanoma when looking under microscope.

    .47 is a low risk lesion which is unusual for nodular, usually they are deeper when found bc they grow so quickly. Was this a new lesion?


    Yes, it seems like it was a difficult diagnosis. Specimen was examined by Dermpath Diagnostics in Southern Florida, then University of Pennsylvania, then Johns Hopkins University.

    The mole is probably a year old. To complicated things, in February I went on immunosuppressant therapy for a VERY rare autoimmune disease that causes retinal bleeding and vision loss. I asked the surgeon if the medication could have caused the mole to become cancerous and he said it’s possible but no way to know for sure.

    Thank you all for your responses. I’m starting to feel a little less flipped out and just taking a deep breath and wait for the surgery and results from that.

    Catherine Poole

    I would definitely press the doctors to move you up to a closer date for peace of mind. Explain your knowledge about nodular melanoma being a fast growing melanoma and the fact that you were on immune suppressive drugs DOES make a difference. Be a squeaky wheel for quicker surgery date! Let us know how you are doing and I would trust the pathology report.


    Yup, .47 mm is good, especially for nodular. Nodular, when discovered, is usually much deeper. Nodular grows at different rates, so, maybe your’s is on the slow end of the usual. Good luck, sounds like you caught it early and that’s great.

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