Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stages I &II Sentinel Lymph Node inside ribs?

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  • #21994

    I was hoping to get some insight into this as I can’t find any information *anywhere* online regarding this situation…

    My husband recently had his WLE and SLNB for a 4.2mm melanoma on his back with minor ulceration (stage 2c). The tracer lit up sentinel lymph nodes in three areas – right groin, right armpit, and left side/rib area. When the surgeon went in, he wasn’t able to get to the node that was on his side because he said it was “inside the ribs”. Is this normal? I’ve only ever heard of groin, armpit, or neck lymph nodes being the sentinel ones.

    The nodes in the groin and armpit came back negative (yay!), but because of the one unknown, he’s sending him for scans (PET and brain MRI).

    I thought the SLNB was supposed to put our minds at ease, but the one unknown node is bothering me… Will the scans be able to see if something is amiss there or only large tumors in organs?


    Also, can someone explain this to me? Why does IIC have a lower 5-year survival rate than IIIA? Surely having negative lymph nodes is better than positive!


    Catherine Poole

    I don’t know what to say about the node under the rib. However, the statistics you presented are just that. I know in the beginning of diagnosis we tend to look at these things a lot, but they really are for the population in general, not individual. There are too many variables to count on these stats for telling your future. Try to concentrate on the negative nodes which are excellent and keeping in tune with any changes.

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