Monthly Archives: May 2018

The (Continuing) Melanoma Chronicles

I’ve had two melanomas, my husband was recently diagnosed with his second. We joke about living in Melanoma Manor, and indeed our dermatologist calls us the Melanoma Couple. An affectionate designation I could do without.

His latest melanoma is in his ear. Breslow’s depth .5 mm.

melanoma

.5mm melanoma

So we get it biopsied, then we get a head and neck CT scan to make sure there’s no tumor elsewhere. Then we have a consultation, where I ask the ENT surgeon if they can get a 1 cm margin. “No need for a whole centimeter,” he said. “The biopsy took all the deep stuff. All that’s left is insitu.”

Hmmm. In my world, there is a reason that a 1cm margin is the standard protocol.

Regardless. They did the surgery, and did a fine job of it, in my opinion. While they were excising the melanoma, they included two other suspicious spots. This is what it looked like when we left the hospital.

skingraft

Skin graft .5mm melanoma

donorsite

Skin graft donor site

It is healing well.

But did they get margins? No. Of course they didn’t. The pathology report says they left melanoma¬† around the outside of the graft from the top all the way to the 5:00 position. We have to go back to have more tissue taken, more skin graft, but they can’t do it until this has healed, or they will jeopardize this graft.

So the melanoma grows for yet another six weeks.

Will they take a full 1 cm margin this time? How loud do I have to yell?

…To be continued…

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