Patient Comments: Melanoma (Skin Cancer) - Diagnosis

What was the stage of your melanoma when it was diagnosed?

Comment from: Kitty B, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 14

I noticed a small black dot on the back of my thigh. My dermatologist told me she was 99% sure it was nothing as it was tiny, but very dark and brand new. I was so unsettled that it was biopsied and I got a call a few weeks later confirming my suspicions that it was melanoma. Thank fully it was caught early (in situ). Lesson: Be your own health advocate. Anything new--have a biopsy. Err on the side of caution.

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Comment from: carchick, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 07

I was just diagnosed with malignant melanoma 2 weeks ago. I had a mole no more than 5mm in diameter that began bleeding on my right upper arm. My primary care doctor assured me that the biopsy would reveal nothing serious, but she was wrong. They also didn't remove all the cancer with the original biopsy. The surgical oncologist will be removing a 2cm diameter by 2cm deep section from my arm which hopefully comes back with clean margins. I was shocked, I am only 26 years old with no family history and no history of severe sunburns, nor was I a sun worshipper like many of my friends.

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Comment from: Clare, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

A month ago I went to my GP asking for a mole which I have had from birth to be removed as it was slightly darker than it had been and I was covering it with make up to disguise it. Not for one moment did I think it was sinister, but my GP referred me for a second opinion and I was seen by a dermatologist within 10 days, was immediately scanned and the mole was removed there and then. Unfortunately a week later he confirmed that it was a first stage melanoma of 0.8mm and I would need further surgery to remove more skin around the excision sight to ensure there were no further cells. I have seen a plastic surgeon who is to do this procedure next week. I would urge anyone who notices any changes whatsoever to seek advice immediately. I have been very lucky so far and hope that my luck continues through the next stages of my treatment.

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Comment from: Pamela, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

My melanoma, which began as a flat bleeding mole on my leg, was diagnosed by tissue biopsy. I had surgery to remove the affected tissue, which the surgeon believed had not reached my muscle tissue, with skin graft repair. I was diagnosed with recurrent melanoma after discovering a lump in my groin area which turned out to be a cancerous lymph node. At that time, although I had no follow-up treatment after the first melanoma surgery, I was put on a course of Interferon for one year. I am now one a half years post-treatment having three months blood work with my oncologist and so far, I have had no reoccurrence.

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Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

For the past few years I've had check-ups by the Dermatologist. Last year I showed her a light brown mole on my neck. She said it wasn't anything to worry about. This year when I went for by check I told her the mole was growing. She said I don't think it's anything, but since you say it's growing, I'll biopsy it. It turned out to be a melanoma. It was in the early stages but I had to have a skin graft on my neck and the plastic surgeon said the pathology report shows they got all of it. That was a little over a week ago. The place on my neck looks horrible, but I am sure glad it's gone. I have an appointment with the Dermatologist in December. I already about 3 places I'm anxious for her to see.

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Comment from: Ga.Peach, 45-54 (Patient) Published: August 18

I am 45 and 2 years ago I had a lymph node in the left groin area swell. I had a mole removed 3 years prior above my left knee. This was Melanoma and a surgery now an eight inch scar remains and I was told all margins were clear. Now the lymph node was needle biopsied and it came back Squamous Cell. My doctors then wanted tissue, so a removal of the lymph node was done and it came back malignant melanoma. They went in and removed the remaining nodes even after PET scan showed no signs of it spreading, but it had spread to two more of the nodes. I then had to go through 49 weeks or 155 Chemo treatments. I am a year over the treatments but I still have a lot of the symptoms. Watching and waiting and hoping it will not return. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my Life!

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Published: August 01

After watching a black spot appear on my left forearm and get larger, itch and change in color, I finally made an appointment with a dermatologist after two years. He took one look at it and said he was sure it was melanoma. He removed the nodule for biopsy and it came back a nodular melanoma, Clark's Level IV and Breslow Level II. They did a wide excision of the area on my arm and also removed two sentinel lymph nodes. It all came back okay. with no spread indicated at this time. I will have a follow up appointment just for a skin check with the local dermatologist at three months after surgery and at six months a PET scan. Hopefully the cancer will not have spread anywhere else. It was 3.4 mm thick so was considered an immediate thickness melanoma. I will be having check-ups every three months for 2 years, every 6 months for the next 3 years and once a year after that.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Melanoma (Skin Cancer) - Symptoms Question: What did your melanoma look like when you first noticed it? What was the size of the growth?
Melanoma (Skin Cancer) - Risk Factors and Causes Question: What risk factors do you have for melanoma? What are your concerns?
Melanoma (Skin Cancer) - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, including surgery, did you receive for melanoma?
Melanoma (Skin Cancer) - Prevention Question: What steps do you take to prevent melanoma or other skin cancers?
Melanoma - Experience With Metastatic Melanoma Question: Please share your experience with metastatic melanoma.

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