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melanoma (SP?)

Posts: 6587
Joined: Oct 2010

I am just checking in on this site (I normally am on breat cancer page) but I was just curious...

friend had melanoma/ surgery and plastic surgery and only sees a demortologist..NOT an oncologist...is this common practice?

I THOUGHT no matter what cancer we all saw oncologists of some sort..


lovingwifedeb's picture
Posts: 183
Joined: Aug 2010

It's one of the first lessons a person learns when diagnosed with this kind of cancer as you want someone who is educated in that area of medicine looking out for you and that would be an Onocologist... Especially one specializing in this particular field of medicine.

I hpe all goes well with your friend.

lovingwife to Bob, stage 4 melanoma

Zod66's picture
Posts: 28
Joined: May 2008

What is the initial stage of the cancer would probably be the deciding factor. I'm a stage III survivor and my mom is was recently diagnosed stage I. Assuming the cancer was above the skin like a mole and not below the skin in the muscle the dermatologist is typically able to remove the entire tumor and have it biopsied. The size of the tumor, most importantly the depth, seem to then determine the next steps. The size/depth effectively dictates how far out around and how deep the surgeon should go to get "clear margins".
I was immediately referred to a plastic surgeon and thanks to fate my wife was an office manager at an oncology center so I immediately had an oncologist. Along with the plastic surgeon I had a vascular surgeon at my first operation who performed a Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy. This procedure discovered 'nests' of cancerous cells in my right groin; original tumor was on top of my right foot.
My moms biopsy came back and staged her melanoma at the very earliest point that it could be detected. So, she only went back to the dermatologist and had a larger area cut out again to achieve the 'clear margins' standard. However, I wish she had gone to a surgeon of some sort because that dermatologist just did a hack job on her shin.
I did have my oncologist look at her biopsy and the only thing he would have done differently then what she was advised to do was to have a CT done focusing on her waist area.
Hope this helps and hope you and your friend stay NDF (NO Disease Found)

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