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jempd 09-03-2009 10:23 AM

I just searched the archives to see if anyone has posted about Melanoma before. My husband has just gotten a diagnosis of Stage 2 Melanoma after having a weird mole on his eyebrow looked at. Some tissue masses showed up on the CT scan (of his lymph nodes) they did so he is about to have a lymphectomy. Has anyone else or their loved one gone through this? I guess I'm looking for reassurance that it was totally treatable and they did not have to go through chemo. Poor dh is scared but trying not to show it. I haven't been so worried up until recently as I assumed that skin cancer isn't that big a deal--as compared to other cancers, I mean. Now I'm wondering; should we be much more worried? I know every case is unique, but I wonder what the treatment process is like in general. It hasn't yet been explained in detail to us. Of course, we won't know exactly what we're dealing with until after the lymphectomy. My big question is: Is a second opinion necessary?

babygrant 09-03-2009 12:23 PM

My dad is very are my sister and brother. A few years ago my dad had a mole checked out and removed. It came back cancerous. He had his symph nodes removed and has been fine since. He does go for yearly appointments with the oncologist though for percautionary reasons.

to you and your DH. Cancer is so scary.

jempd 09-03-2009 01:18 PM


time4another 09-03-2009 01:26 PM

My DH had a stage 1 melanoma removed. He did not need to have lymph nodes removed, but it was close. This was 3 years ago. He is now about to move to the yearly visits, has been going every 6 months since.

He was nervous and worried but it did turn out to be totally treatable.

amcal 09-03-2009 01:48 PM

I just had a melanoma removed from my arm in May. It was terrifying. Absolutely terrifying.

Mine was stage 1b but, I opted for a lymph node biopsy for peace of mind. It came back clean.

There are a couple things you want to make sure you know - make sure you know the Clark's level and the breslow thickness. The clark's level tells you how many layers of skin are involved and the breslow thickness tells you how thick the tumor is. These are very important numbers to have.

Also, make sure you find out if it was ulcerated or not.

There are a million and one message boards out there for melanoma information and support. I would highly recommend only going to reputable ones and staying off the yahoo ones. Here is one that I found to be fantastic. Tons of factual information and resources:

I would also make sure you research the best cancer centers out there. Being in NY, you have Sloan Kettering which is supposed to be fantastic. You want a dermatologist you have absolute faith in.

My thoughts and prayers go out to you. It's terrifying, I know. I'm 3+ months out and it's getting better but, it's always there.

If you want to PM me or if you have any questions or just need to talk, I'm more than happy to help in whatever way you need.

Edited because I didn't answer your question about the 2nd opinion. Yes - always get a second opinion. The original dermatologist that found my cancer would have actually missed it if I hadn't pointed it out. At that point, I no longer trusted him. I went to another dermatologist and in fact, I travel 2 hours to our major medical university that has a melanoma clinic for additional opinions.

The more eyes you have on your husband, the better. You need to be comfortable that everything is being covered.

As far as treatment - I didn't need chemo - I just had a large chunk of my arm removed and I didn't need further treatment. But, so much will depend upon the clark's level, the stage, the lymph nodes etc....

sbgrace 09-03-2009 03:07 PM

My husbands friend had a stage 1 removed about 10 years ago. He had a recurrance several years out and that one had spread to the lymph nodes. I'm not sure how many or of the staging but he had no spread outside of the lymph nodes. They did chemo with that one. He's five years out and doing great!

I agree that who you see matters a lot. He did/does have the most aggressive type of melanoma that grows in rather than out. He's still doing good.

lindberg99 09-03-2009 03:12 PM

My brother had a melanoma on his arm. I don't know what stage it was. He had surgery to remove it. There was talk of possibly needing a skin graft but he didn't. That was about 3.5 years ago. He goes in for a skin check more often, I think 4 times a year and hasn't had any problems since. For him, it wasn't any bigger deal than it was for my husband who had basal cell carcinoma.

Good luck to your DH and you! Oh, and if he has any siblings, tell them they should start getting skin checks. I've gone in once a year now since my brother found the melanoma. I've had one pre-cancerous mole so I think melanoma does run in families.

jempd 09-03-2009 03:52 PM

Thanks again, all, I really appreciate it and am so glad I asked. Very useful to have this info. I'm compiling things to ask the second-opinion doctor and will go with him so that there's another set of ears. He has two sisters and we have one of them to thank for it even being discovered at all as she was the one who saw the mole on his eyebrow and said, You should get that looked at, and I can give you the name of a good dermatologist. That's what started the whole ball rolling. It feels good to hear stories of people being OK for so long.

5thAttempt 09-03-2009 07:52 PM

I think that you should not worry since worry never helps in anything. However, this is serious and you have to get all info from the best doctors you have aceess to.
I go to dermatologist every year, he usually removes few moles every year. Some of them were what is called 'pre-cancer', thus I treat skins problems very seriously. I also saw several doctors and they all do exam, but I think that you are the one who should look at your husband and notice every unusual things. I mean scalp (some of my bad moles were hidden in hair!), I also mean private parts, I mean between toes and fingers,behind the ears etc. If you notice something that you have a little concern with - bring it to dr attention. Better be a nuisance here. Also, I had several moles that 2!!! dermatologyst were thinking that were just a blood vessels pop and one even suggested to laser shave it. I said just do a biopsy (I was concerned about lupus actually). It ended up being bad one. So, insist on real check and pictures and measurement if biopsy is not recommended for a particular spot. Or do it yourself. I have several moles that I measure myself every 3 months and track the size. And do not worry! Just be proactive.

lizmichaels3 10-14-2013 03:28 AM

Thanks so much for sharing your story.  This is the worst!  Do you mind if I ask If your Husband is OK?  Your story is exactly

what we are going thru now!  10/16/2013 this Tuesday is my husband's operation.  Can't listen to people anymore.. Even Our Church

had a "Circle Prayer" for him yesterday.  (THANK GOD) !!!!   I didn't ask for but people have history & tell me 6mths their wife

lived.   Friends etc.  I can't believe it's so serious??


I only read that one message you posted yrs ago.  I'm scared...please if possible give it to me honestly!!!



Thx,   Liz

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