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What happened??

snowbaby0812
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2002

How fast can a melanoma spread? Months?? Years??? I've always had a mole on my right side, and to the right of my breast. Ever since I can remember, its been there. As I got older, the mole grew. It became larger than the end of a pencil eraser. Then about 8 months ago a little red dot appeared inside the mole, at the edge. Over the 8 months the red dot got bigger and bigger till the mole became twice its size and it started to itch. I went to my normal doctor after the first 2 months the spot appeared and he told me not to worry. "It's most likely just another mole growing into the other one," he said. I didn't think that sounded right, but I let it go. Until, two weeks ago when I went to a dermatologist. He wouldn't even let me leave the office until he surgically removed it. So, I got stitches for the first time in my entire life. I was very scared, and I still am. My dermatologist scheduled me to go back in 10 days to get the stitches out and results back. When I went back he told me it was melanoma. He called a plastic surgeon right away to make a larger incision. I also had to get bloodwork and chest x-rays. Everything is just happening so fast. Now, I sit here and wonder. What happens next? What if the cancer has spread? I have so many questions. And to add to my worries, my dad is going through basically the same thing I am. He just had to get a second surgery because they found melanoma. My grandmother (dad's mother) died of melanoma. I am so frightened...

auntcathy
Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2002

I know how scared you must be right now. The more information you have on this disease, the better you can deal with it. Melanoma can spread very quickly given the right circumstances or not at all. I was pretty much in the same boat three months ago. I was referred to a dermatologist after my family doctor found a "suspicious" mole. Within days, my whole life was turned upside down. After a week or more of total numbness and NO information other than it was a Clarks Level IV...being the deepest and worst......I began to take an interest in the alternatives available to me. The best thing you can do for yourself is to keep the communications open between you and your doctor. A strong support system among family and friends will provide you with strength when you have none. And get involved with your own treatment. Ask questions....read as much as you can about it and say your prayers. There is so much new going on in medicine and new treatments......ask your doctor to refer you to the experts on Melanoma. I am from the southeast(Western North Carolina) and found that Duke University in Durham and Emory University in Atlanta both had melanoma experts on their staff. I obtained my own appointment and have tried to be as involved in all of it as I can possibly be. After surgery to remove more of the area surrounding the melanoma, I began a cutting edge treatment called Specific Active Immunotherapy. This is a vaccine which contains irradiated cancer cells that are injected into your body to trick your immune system into going after any stray cells that may be anywhere in your body. The side effects are minimal and it is an alternative to chemo and radiation which are so damaging to your overall health. This is a vaccine similar to what was developed for polio. It has given me a great deal of hope and I hope can be a true livesaver to many more melanoma victims. If you need to talk or if I can be of any help at all, please write...bobcatwnc@aol.com......good luck and god bless

Ralphie62
Posts: 47
Joined: Feb 2010

My MOm was just diagnosed and I livein Atlanta: can you please give me the name of the specialist at Emory, and howyou got into the vaccine trial?? Thanks so much!!

Rague
Posts: 3305
Joined: Aug 2009

Until you just posted this thread has not been posted on for 12 years so good chance those who posted that long ago do not come here anymore.  actually the whole Skin Cancer Section gets VERY few posts on it.

You could try calling Emory and asking to be connected with Oncology or Dermatology  as places to start asking  for information.

awarn
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2002

Hi,
I am going through the exact same thing. I've always had a mole on the side of my neck. In the past year, I guess it got a little large and so my doctor wanted to take it off "just to be safe." It didn't have any cancerous characteristics at all. My doctor was sure it was a harmless mole. Well actually it was melanoma. At least Stage II, Clark's level IV. The "at least" is my favorite part--they won't even know for sure till they do more surgery. So what if it's in my lymph nodes? What if it's spread? I can't stand the waiting--I just want to know. I guess I don't have any answers to your questions, instead I have the same questions... April

gnail's picture
gnail
Posts: 35
Joined: Sep 2000

I am not a doctor. I am not even in the medical field. But I do have melanoma. I do not mean to be insulting to any doctor, but doctors are not dermatologists. We cannot afford a misdiagnosis. See an expert. Anytime you see or feel a change with a mole...please go see a good dermatologist.

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