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…

1 Comment

Filed under melanoma, Uncategorized

One response to “The (Continuing) Melanoma Chronicles

  1. Jean Barry

    Liz; Why was this procedure done by an ENT? Was it because of the ear location? Couldn’t the Dermatologist do the procedure? I’ve been through this drill 15 times with my husband; all basal cell except for 2 squamous. None in/on the ear though. All head, shoulders and back. Really frustrating to know Al will have to have a 2nd procedure for the wider margin. Thanks for sharing this information. Jeanne

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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