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Nodular Melanoma - posted 2/8/11

lakermom
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2011

My husband was recently diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma - Nodular. The Breslow Thickness was 8.5 mm Clarks Level IV. I'm not sure if they considered it ulcerated or not. I know that it has bled before he had the biopsy... but I'm not sure if that's considered ulcerated or not. I've read ulcerated has something to do with the layer of skin on top. Anyway... they staged it as IIB as if it was not ulcerated. I believe T4N0M0. The lymph nodes came back negative which was terrific... but the surgical oncologist referred us to a medical oncologist as he believed my husband should seriously consider interferon treatment because of the depth. My husband is undecided as to whether he should take the interfuron treatments or not. We're not finding much about nodular melanoma... but what I've read about melanoma in general... it looks like the depth is serious enough to consider treatment. We would welcome any feedback to help in the decision making process. Thank you!

Shines
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2010

Lakermom,
My husband also was diagnosed with nodular melanoma in 2009. His was not as deep as your husbands as his was 2.45 Clarks Level IV. His also not ulcerated even thou it bled. The SLNB also came back clear. I'm assuming your husband is going to a center of excellence. With my husbands level the first doctor suggested interferon but my husband told him know way as it made out neighbor sick for a year and he didn't want to go through that. Everything I read on it seems that the majority of the people don't want it since it doesn't have a good percentage rate of helping. I read that it's old school. But again your husbands is or was a lot deeper so I really don't know. Not a lot of help I know. You can always go to the Melanoma International Foundation website as they were helpful during the whole process my husband went through. Very informative. An as you will read again not to many people happy with interferon. They might be able to lead you in the right direction or at least make you feel better about your decision whichever way that may be.
Best of luck and will keep you in prayer.

lakermom
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2011

Thank you Shines for your kind support. We are going to a reputable cancer center which is why we are so unsure. You have to believe the doctor knows best. My husband is 52 years old and the picture of perfect health, so its very difficult to think that we might jeopardize his health with the toxicity of interferon. At the same time... the thought of doing nothing and down the road wishing we had makes this a tough decision. Many people have told us not to worry... that he will make the right decision whatever he decides. We have a couple of weeks before meeting with another oncologist to discuss treatment... so we will continue to research and pray for guidance. We will be sure to check out the Melanoma International Foundation. Thank you again... and our best to you and your husband!

Shines
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2010

Lakermom,
Interferon is very toxic. My husband is 47 years old and he too is a healthy, sometimes head strong man. My thought at the time when they mentioned the interferon was okay lets do it, but after talking with my husband and researching I had to agree. He is now 6 months out from the SLNB and his last check up was good. We will go back in 6 months and do a mole mapping as he is covered with moles (years of being outdoors doing contruction). When do you see the oncologist? Maybe he will have a different route he wants your husband to take. Whatever he decides to do or not do, just don't look back and regret the decision you made. Everyone with this stupid cancer reacts differently from it. It seems like no two people are alike.
Make sure to take care of yourself also as it is hard for the spouse too.
Best of luck in your decision making. Just know that what you decide is whats right for him.

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