Home Forums Melanoma: Stage III Stage 3

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    I wanted to see if I could get some input. I was recently DX as having focal malignant melanoma, superficial spreading type with lentiginous component. I was told that is was classified as Stage 3 on the Breslow scale with 0.75mm of thickness. This DX was given to me less than a week ago. Since that time the Dermatologist referred me to a Oncologist Surgeon who informed me that he needed to do surgery ASAP. I am scheduled to have a WLE/SNLB next week. The tumor that was removed is on my left posterior thigh (close to the bend of the knee). I initially did not think that this was to serious based on the Dermatologist but is it normal for the TX to occur so rapidly? Also any information that anyone could give me would be very helpful.

    Catherine Poole

    First of all, you are not stage 3. You would only be designated as such if you have any lymph node involvement. You are on the cusp of needing a sentinel node biopsy, usually .76 and up is the point of needing one. In fact, many would find you diagnosis as fairly low risk. So there is no real rush to get this done as the surgeon indicated. You may want to get a second opinion from a center that does see a lot of melanoma patients. I hope this helps you. Please be sure to read more on this website about being newly diagnosed, etc. above in the BLUE section..


    Catherine is definitely correct. You are NOT stage 3. They were probably saying you were Clark level 3 with a Breslow thickness of .75mm. They wouldn’t know you are stage 3 before having done the sentinel node biopsy. As Catherine said, look into getting a second opinion from a melanoma center of excellence. Good luck!


    Catherine, I surprised to hear you say that 0.75mm is usually the demarcation for having an SLNB when the AJCC guidelines say 1mm unless there is ulceration or a mitotic rate over 1, neither of which were mentioned by the opening poster. With a depth of 0.72mm, there was no way my consultant dermatologist in the UK was going to refer me for an SNLB in spite of my wanting one and at stage 1a you would not be under an ocologist either.

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