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Any Advice Please

bgreen0402
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2008

My partner (43 years old) had an odd looking mole on his back in Oct 2007. He had it looked at and the biopsy showed it was a melanoma (1.4mm deep) - which was removed along with 1 lymph node under his arm.

In May 2008 he had a routine PET scan which showed up totally negative. Then in early June 2008 a lump appeared 2cm along from the scar of the original melanoma. He has just had it removed and it was found to be another melanoma.

We were devastated. At the meeting the oncologist said he thought there was now a 60% chance of a reoccurance - and a 30% chance that any reoccurance would appear in vital organs.

He also said that if the reoccurance did strike the brain or liver - there was very little they could really do in terms of treatment (or does that depend on the severity??)

Today he was called to surgery to have all the remaining lymph nodes removed from under his left arm - and has also taken another PET scan.

We were told that the PET scan could show problems this time - despite it being clear in only May (can this happen?)

So - he is in surgery having his arm sorted and we will get the PET scan results tomorrow.

Can anyone pass on any advice to me? I have to keep this from his parents and family at this time as he has not told them that things have turned for the worse and so I am worrying here on my own.

As we had a clear PET scan in May and the fact that the second melanoma has appeared so very close to the first - should I feel as totally terrified as I do?

Should I also be over-worred about the spread to the organs at this time - given that nothing showed in the May PET?

I feel in a state of shcok and would love to hear from someone who has been thro something similar.

Thank you!

Bob

Your CSN Staff's picture
Your CSN Staff
Posts: 200
Joined: May 2008

Hello Bob,

We encourage you to contact the American Cancer Society's National Cancer Information Center for information on your partner's diagnosis and treatment. Cancer Information Specialists are available 24 hours a day at 1-800-227-2345.

We wish your partner the very best on his treatment.

Kind regards,

Your CSN Staff

Zod66's picture
Zod66
Posts: 28
Joined: May 2008

I do not have the perspective of the "care giver", that would be my wife, but as the "survivor" I can comment.

First; recurrence seems farely common amongst Melanoma patients. My wife happens to work at the cancer center that treated me and she tells me what she can about the Melanoma patients.

I personally have PET/CT scans done every 6 months, and will for another 3 yrs. and even though they are an incredible tool I am sure they are not able to pick up everything and they must be read by a human being; thus enter the human element.

The one item I noticed missing from your post is that no treatment (chemotherapy) was done after the first tumor was removed in late '07. Was there any? If not, why? That was a farely deep tumor.

Also, you wrote the post before you had any pathology reports from the second surgery. You should know if they got clear "margins" around the tumor as well as in the lymph node area.

I think feeling afraid is normal but know there are things that the patient will be able to do to clear his body of the cancerous cells; surgery & chemo. And, there will be actions to take after the treatments are complete; PET/CTs, regular visits to the dermatologist. And stay in control by not reading too much into percentages and such. Read enough to be informed and stay vigilant.

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