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I have to agree….I hate shaved biopsies. They take a long time to heal and rarely look good after healed. Excisional biopsies heal so nicely. I would suggest you follow through with the WLE. I had a stage 1 melanoma and when they did the WLE more melanoma was removed. It is worth the extra procedure and expense. It is your life. I just passed my 2 year anniversary for a stage 1a. Never saw an oncologist, never had LCH blood test or scans of any kind. In the past 2 years I have gone to the dermatologist every 3 months. I have had multiple biopsies showing hyperplasia, AKs, SKs, early Basel cell and surgery for a Squamous cell carcinoma.
From reading this forum I have to agree with Cohanja. There does not seem to be any standard for follow up.January 31, 2014 at 5:55 pm in reply to: Tanning bed study: Despite cancer warnings, people still tan #63464
This should not surprise anyone. Smoking can kill you yet people still smoke especially young adults. Driving drunk can kill you yet people still do it. Sad but true. One thing my dermatologist told me when I was diagnosed with stage 1a Melanoma was that early stage melanoma will not show up in scans and blood testing is for late stages of melanoma. It stinks that there are no tests for us early stage folks but that is the way it is. Maybe someday in the future they will come up with a blood test. In the mean time why exposé yourself to radiation and the cost of the scans when the results will not show metastatic melanoma? Sound to me like Ms.Little needs a new doctor. I am very fortunate that the dermatology group I go to has MOHs surgery available on site. So there is no need to go to a hospital and rack up a high medical bill.
We as patients need to ask questions and get the full answers. So many doctors tend to down play what is involved with skin lesions. Don’t accept the answer of just a few little stitches.
As for MOHs surgery for a BCC on a face…..I would be seeing a MOHs surgeon too. Call me vain but my body is full of scars from numerous cancer removals and biopsies. My face is the last scar free zone!
I see the point of the article being using us as ATM machines but believe we need to speak up and question everything. Any doctor that goes for “over kill” needs to be avoid. In my personnel opinion they are out to make the almighty dollar and our healthy and welfare are not their primary concern.
I think your doctor and nurses can supported. They may not be your first line of support but when you under their care they can be so helpful and reassuring. I know our oncologist and his nursing staff have been fantastic.
Maybe I misunderstood Catherine’s comment.
Lefty, I am sorry you feel my advice is of little value. I believe constant worry is not good. Most people here have gone through the initial shock of being diagnosed with melanoma. With time the constant fear, worry levels out. Vigilance is the best weapon. Early melanoma has an excellent survival rate. Lefty, the best advice I can give you is to relax! You said early stage, what stage? Going to an oncologist and having a pet/ct seems a little drastic for an early stage melanoma.
Listen to your dermatologist, after all they are the professionals.
I had a pre cancerous nodule on my thyroid about 10 years ago. It was interfering with my voice and swallowing. My thyroid was removed and I have not had a problem in that area since. I have caught 3 different cancers while they were still in the pre cancer stage. Is there a relationship to my melanoma ? I don’t know. Maybe a genetic predisposition to cancer. who knows. I do not let it rule my life but I am just very proactive.
I would follow the advice of my Primary Care Physician.
I just did a very quick google search on the gene they are researching and it is most promising. As to when it will be available, who knows. My heart goes out to you. Both Catherine and Ann gave you some great advice. All I can offer is a cyber hug.
Thank you for a wonderful answer. It was timely advice for me. I originally came to this forum as a melanoma patient. Now I find myself being a care taker to my husband who has an incurable form of non Hodgkin lymphoma. I have faced the “c” word myself 5 times and after being on both sides I can honestly say being the care taker is by far the hardest. I have not handled my emotions very well and constantly worry but just this weekend I took a small step forward. Reading your tips was like a pat on the back for me. It is still hard but at least I know I can continue to move forward even if I fall back at times. By the way, I found handling the medical and physical part of caring for my husband is the easy part, it is the darn emotions that trip me up. Thank you again
I definitely would do it for myself or a loved one if I doubted the information the first doctor gave me!
Jenni’s quote above.
For me I am one who seeks out a specialist from the beginning. I research the backgroundof the doctors education, hospital affiliation etc. at that point I meet the doctor and get a feel for how we would work together. From then on I have to put my trust in the doctor.
If a cancer is found, the doctors I have dealt with are very open about seeking a second opinion. In fact they facilitate the second opinion for you. Sadly, I am in the process of doing this for my husband who was diagnosed with an non curable form of lymphoma.
For the “average” medical problem I just think people are satisfied with the care they receive from their doctors and don’t seek out second opinions.
One thing, get your pathology report from your PCP. That will help with some of your questions. You mentioned a plastic surgeon is that because the melanoma is on your face? You can’t go wrong with Dana-Farber. You will want to know the depth of the melanoma to help you make some decisions. good luck and let us know what you decide.