Home Forums Melanoma: Newly Diagnosed – Stages I & II Not sure what to think?

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  • #56176
    rainyandgray
    Participant

    Thanks everyone – I’ll keep you posted!

    #56177
    krissy424
    Participant

    When i was diagnosed i was told stage II in a phone call from the doctors office. I learned when i posted the path report to this forum that i am Stage I. I’m Clark level II. HUGE DIFFERENCE. At least to me it’s a huge difference. I think Worrywart is giving you the correct info as far as what info is available at this time. :-) If you have scanned copies of path reports, you can use this tool to turn them into text to copy paste here if you wish. I have much better luck with this tool than with my 60 year old eyes and hands doing the job, plus I am lazy.

    Free Online OCR

    (Optical Character Recognition)

    http://www.free-online-ocr.com/

    Wishing you a very good outcome with melanoma

    Kris

    #56178
    rainyandgray
    Participant

    So almost 2 weeks now, and I consulted with a general surgeon but decided to schedule my surgery with my 2nd opinion- a surgical oncologist. The fact that this surgery is finally scheduled for next tuesday is helping my anxiety. I started off feeling panic, but after talking with several friends and colleagues I’m starting to feel like maybe I’m blowing this out of proportion? I’ve heard things like “oh melanoma is easily curable…”, “if it’s not a large tumor (just a mole) you have nothing to worry about…”

    I realize that I may just be a stage I – but this still seems serious to me. Even the idea of a sentinel node biopsy is terrifying. Obviously, that wouldn’t be done unnecessarily-

    I guess I’m just needing a little validation. Feels strange to hear such different reactions from my colleagues some of which work in the medical field.

    #56179
    cohanja
    Participant

    In my humble opinion, melanoma – any melanoma – is a big deal, not to be dismissed, and is a potentially life threatening disease and should be taken very seriously and given the respect it deserves. I think the general public that has not dealt with it may not be as informed and may just think skin cancer is skin cancer is skin cancer, but there’s a big difference between melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Even Stage I is to be taken very seriously.

    #56180
    Worrywart
    Participant

    I agree with Cohanja. It irks me when people downplay melanoma as ‘just skin cancer’.

    #56181
    rainyandgray
    Participant

    Thanks worrywart and cohanja- this first few weeks has really been a roller coaster.

    The melanoma was removed by my doctor at my request (not suspicious to the doctor). I wanted it removed was because it was so itchy! That was about 4 weeks ago, and the first 3 weeks it was still itchy (the nurse said this was normal)- however the other benign moles didn’t itch when they were healing. Now the itching has stopped and I’m actually having small but sharp little pains from time to time at melanoma site. I should add that it was only a shave biopsy (ugh!). So that makes me concerned about what else is going on there…or how deep the melanoma has gone. Just with the shave biopsy the depth was 1mm, nonulcerated and I’m waiting for the wide excision and sentinel node biopsy in 7 days.

    Just wondering if anyone experienced anything similar with their initial biopsy site? Am I overthinking this?

    #56182
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Did the doctors report a mitotic rate? I’m just wondering about that. Was it a deep shave biopsy?

    #56183
    rainyandgray
    Participant

    Catherine,

    I didn’t see a mitotic rate- but here is the pathology report since I’ve only posted bits and pieces of it. Not sure the difference between shave or deep shave, but she injected a local anesthetic, quick removal and no stitches, healed quickly.

    Let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions for me to follow up on. Thanks!

    Clinical History/Description: 5 mm- red papule, shave biopsy

    Site: Left back

    Diagnosis: Melanoma, non-ulcerated, superficial spreading type, Clark’s level III, Breslow thickness 1.0mm (172.5)

    Microscopic Description: Sections show a proliferation of atypical epithelioid melanocytes arrayed along the dermoepidermal junctions as single cells and irregularly sized/shaped nests with pagetoid migration evident. Nests of similar appearing cells are present in the subjacent dermis. There is chronic inflammation in the superficial dermis.

    #56184
    krissy424
    Participant

    About itching- My post may be a little late to be of much value. I had a SSM, breslow.55 , clark II removed with deep shave bx in June. It had itched and drove me nuts. The bx area continued to itch like crazy for about two weeks even though it had been cut out. After the wide excision on the 17 day the itching stopped.WLE was all clear. By the way, the wide local excision was discomfort, not really painful.

    ps- meant to say it was on my right upper back.

    #56185
    rainyandgray
    Participant

    Thanks krissy- it helps just to hear that someone else has had the same experience. Glad to hear that the itching eventually resolved for you and that the WLE was clear. I think I’m finally becoming familiar with some of the melanoma-related terminology, thanks to this site.

    #56186
    Worrywart
    Participant

    I think you should have your slides read again (second opinion on pathology). Always good to have a second opinion, and your report does not indicate mitotic factor, which is important in establishing how aggressive the tumor is/was. Even though you had a shave biopsy, from the report it appears it was fully removed (if not it would say it wasn’t fully removed).

    As for the itching – from my experience, it’s normal to have some pain and itching after a biopsy.

    Good luck with your surgery!

    #56187
    rainyandgray
    Participant

    Thanks worrywart- I was just thinking about that yesterday and was wondering why the mitotic rate wasn’t there.

    #56188
    cohanja
    Participant

    Can always send to Dr Mihm for another opinion: Contact them first before sending your slides, though, I think there is a form to also fill out with demographics, billing info, etc…

    Martin C. Mihm Jr., M.D., F.A.C.P.

    SKADA

    One Broadway

    Suite 14

    Cambridge, MA 02142

    Phone-617-401-2231

    #56189
    rainyandgray
    Participant

    Well I made through the surgery- ugh! Had the wide excision and SNB. My doctor placed a drain in my back incision to help with swelling and fluid build up, so I will get that removed tomorrow. I may also find out the path report then… I’ll admit I’m a little nervous. But the doctor said everything looked good (whatever that means), and I’m hoping this was stage I… (hope and pray, repeat).

    #56190
    Laurie
    Participant

    Rainyandgray, Glad to hear the surgery went well. Good luck with the healing process! I will keep you in my thoughts for a good result! It’s ok and normal to be nervous; just try to relax as much as possible – that will help with the healing. Best Wishes!

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 30 total)
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