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Recently diagnosed: What do I need to know?

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

Hi! Results came back from neck biopsy: early melanoma stage 1, level 1. Doctor said it is localized to my epidermis. On May 14, I'll have .5 cm margin removed plus biopsy on another lesion. Doctor plans to follow-up every 3 months for 1st year.

I'm just beginning my search for information to educate myself. What questions should I ask the doctor? Any other helpful info is appreciated!

krrankin's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2003

Hi, I'm an early stage survivor (15 months). Diagnosed at 33(2/2002) I had the WLE surgery, nothing else required. I have reddish blonde hair, green eyes, freckles, Scottish-Irish descent, fair skin, lived in the sun and have family history of Melanoma on both sides! Go to the derm every six months for checkups now. Have had about 7 or 8 new biopsies since my diagnosis. Luckily all have been only "atypical" and not malignant so far. I am trying to keep a very positive attitude and not freak out over every new mole or freckle, but I'll admit sometimes it is nerve wracking. Make sure your doctor explains anything you don't understand in plain and simple terms, also read everything you can about melanoma. A great web site is Mike's Page( I think www.tustison.com). I belong to the list serv and talk daily with other survivor's via e-mail. Goodluck and I'll be praying for you! Kristie

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

Our 32 daughter in law is fighting for her life. She was diagnosed '99 mole on right shoulder, had WLE and SNB with right auxila nodes removed 0 positive. Other than having numerous mole/freckle biopsies done and every 3 month dr/derm visits all went well till 5/01. She then had an in-transit tumor at original site. Had it excised and again all went well with continued monitoring until 3/03. She had had her onco visit with bloodwork etc and all was good as recent at December 02 then wham...mets to liver 40% involvement inoperable!!! She has completed round two of IL2 and is home recooperating. We still do not have the word from her onco as to whether the treatment did any good. Still praying for the best/preparing for the worst. All I can recommend to you is that you are EXTREMELY vigilant with your care and do not depend on bloodwork to show liver involvement. Her bloodwork in Dec was good so...... GET FREQUENT SCANS!!! Good luck. Your diagnosis is a good one to start with but never let down your guard. If you are sick for more than week with anything contact your onco. Your GP is no doubt clueless to the agressiveness of Melanoma.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2003

I, too, was recently diagnosed with melanoma. I had a mole on my arm that appeared in about '96, but most recently began growing and changing. The biopsy was sent to the "melanoma experts" at UCI and the experts want to rediagnose their diagnosis!! They are trying to determine whether the next excision needs to be .5 cm or 1 cm. This is all so new to me, some days are good, some are bad. I received a fat packet of information in the mail from the cancer society and have located a network support group in my area. Dont know what to make of it all yet...guess we're all in this together!
I will be praying for you and your family since I know first hand how nerve wracking it is.

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