Melanoma again?

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I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma last February. I had surgery and was given the clear later in the year. It didn't spread to my lymph nodes.

The last two weeks (at least) I had been itching an area on my hip, assuming it was a bite becasue thats the kind of itchiness it felt like. I never looked at it as it was always under my trousers so I just itched and ignored it. Tonight it itched while I was in the shower, and unfortunately I realised that it is a small dark mole. It has a very light pink ring around it, so I am pretty certain it is cancer again. I am still under the care of my skin cancer nurse, dermatologist, etc, so I am hoping for a quick process with the biopsy and etc.

I'd like to know if anybody else has had melanoma multiple times? I'm terrified it will be more advanced this time. I'm only 24 and I have two young children. I'm trying to keep it together but I am absolutely gutted, and can't help but fear the worst and feel as though I won't live to see them grow up.

Despite my diagnosis last year, I thought I'd be able to live a full life... was I wrong? Will melanoma keep on coming back? Will it eventually kill me?

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Anya

    I am in a similar situation to you having had a melanoma removed from my thigh in October and a wider excision in the same spot in November. I am also petrified that the cancer will return. I have recently had a number of areas of actinic keratosis appear and so I rang the speciallist cancer nurse at the dermatology dept. They were very helpful and brought forward my next three monthly check up and both the nurse and a dermatologist examined me.  It wasnt very reassuring as they have the potential to turn in squamous cell carcinoma ( not related to the melanoma strangely ) but they are treatable and have been prescribed Flourocil.

      Anyway sorry to go off the subject - my point is :- get on the phone to  dermatology ASAP and ask to go in and see them and if they are concerned will whip off the mole possibly there and then. I dont think that just because you have more than one melanoma your current diagnosis will change, it may be advisable to ask if they think it is worthwhile doing  a lymph sentinel node biopsy to be sure though.

    Best wishes Paul

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Paul thank you for your reply, and sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I forgot to update this post. I spoke to my skin cancer nurse on Monday, and within an hour I had an appointment scheduled with my surgeon for this Thursday. My treatment has been absolutely amazing and I really can't praise the NHS enough.

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    • Posted

      (Posted too soon!) I haven't heard of actinic keratosis before, I will do a bit of research on that now. I will update this post again when I have seen the surgeon.

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    • Posted

      Great news Anya - I am sure that  you will be much releived after thursdays appt. Actinic keratosis are funny sandpapery red patches that suddenly pop up and are caused by sun damage - they can turn cancerous or may even just go away. Its not super serious at this stage but definitley something to keep an eye on . The flourocil is a chemo cream applied directly which targets and kills fast growing cells. (not melanoma cells though)

       They are apparantley unrelated but like you I am on a high alert at the moment

      Good luck on Thursday

      Paul

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    • Posted

      Hey what did your melanoma look like at its beginning stage. I have this black small mole on my bac and I am havig it checked by the derma on friday but i am a scared wreck and I dont want to have cancer. Im 24 and i'm just so scared. 

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    • Posted

      Hello. I know it's easier said than done but try not to worry just yet - it could be nothing. If it is melanoma, it is very treatable during early stages. If my memory serves me correctly, most stage 1 melanomas do not need further treatment after the biopsy as the biopsy will have removed all of the diseased tissue. I saw a surgeon for a wide excision after my biopsy as they were not happy that they had removed enough tissue; the size of the biopsy and the wide excision depend entirely on the size of the original 'tumor' as they call it. 

      My melanoma was not a mole (around 50% of melanomas develop on otherwise normal skin!) Mine appeared on my chest. It looked like a pinch, not like a mole at all. It was pink and extremely irregular shaped, and probably the size of a fingernail. It was there for a year before my dermatologist looked at it and referred me for a biopsy. I was so certain that it wasn't cancer that I wasn't worried about the results of the biopsy at all, imagine my shock when I got the letter! 

      I am now seen regularly for check-ups and have all of my skin checked. I have several very tiny, round, dark moles which neither my surgeon or dermatologist are worried about. I would have considered these to be black in colour, but the professionals disagree! They will examine it very closely and if there is any concern at all they will take a biopsy to be sure. I would encourage you to use that opportunity to point out any other moles or lesions that you think are irregular, as you will likely not have a full body check carried out unless you are diagnosed with melanoma. 

      Hoping for a good outcome for you! 

       

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    • Posted

      Hello just to update!

      The surgeon booked me in for a biopsy in two weeks time. Fingers crossed it's nothing. I'm very glad I have my surgeon doing it, as the stitches I had for my first ever biopsy were poorly done by the dermatologist and did not heal after they were removed. I had an open wound on my chest until I had my wide excision two months later (which has healed beautifully despite its size!) 

      I forgot to ask about doing the lymph node check, so I will ask when I go in again. I hope that the cream works for you!

       

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    • Posted

      Melanoma can take so many different shapes and colours that isnt really the indicator. I think the flags are :- iregualar shape and non-uniform in colour. Also if a mole is perceptably changing in shape or size over a short period of time or becoming cracked and bleeding. New moles have to appear at sometime so if it is regular shaped and not different colours dont worry for now. (but never harms to get them chacked out)

        Even if it is removed and it turns out to be a melanoma you will have caught it very early and so is very unlikely ever to return elsewhere. It is scary but you are doing the right things

      Paul

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    • Posted

      Hi Anya

      I had exactly the same experience. I think that maybe the dermatologist has a good idea when it is a melanoma even before it is tested and so gives you a rubbish scar so you are really pleased with the scar from the wider excision later.

      I do hope things come back with good news, the dermatoligist probably isnt too worried or they would already have booked you for the sentinel lymph node biopsy - so that is good news.

        I have to delay using the cream as I go in for a total hip replacement in two days. I have been treating them with a homemade cream made from turmeric and coconut oil and amazingly it really works.The areas of keratosis are about 75% reduced over a month and a couple have disappeared altogether. I also drink turmeric and balck pepper tea ( teaspoon of turmeric - quarter teaspoon of black pepper - hot water) The cancer fighting properties of turmeric are well documented. Certainly wont do any harm anyway. I am a big fan of giving your body the best natural diet you can to give it the tools to fight off cancer cells itself. Though of course this would never be instead of treatment provided by the hospital - they are the ones who really know what they are doing.

      All the best Paul

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    • Posted

      You are right about the first excision usually removing all cancerous tissue. The second (wider) excision is always done when the test proves malignant melanoma as an insurance that all bad cells were removed and there was none spread by the surgery. The tissue from the wider excision is then tested for cancer cells to prove a successful removal of the cancer.
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