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Pampered Chef: Personal We have recently discovered that my DH has melanoma. I am wondering if

  1. rennea

    rennea Legacy Member Gold Member

    We have recently discovered that my DH has melanoma. I am wondering if anybody has had experience with skin cancer? My family has had several different types of cancer but never skin cancer.

    DH goes in the morning to have it removed. We then have to wait for more results from the cancer clinic to see if he will need more treatment. Keeping fingers crossed...
    Jun 24, 2009
  2. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

    Re: ?Melanoma?

    Several family members and friends have had melanomas. As long as your doctor is able to remove it all, he should be fine.
    Jun 24, 2009
  3. Jolie_Paradoxe

    Jolie_Paradoxe Senior Member Gold Member

    Re: ?Melanoma?

    No experience or helpful advice, but will be praying for a smooth and successful procedure.
  4. Intrepid_Chef

    Intrepid_Chef Legend Member Silver Member

    Re: ?Melanoma?

    My favorite host is a melanoma survivor who was in stage 3 or 4 when she was diagnosed.

    She goes in every six months for a checkup and they almost always remove something for testing.

    She says there are several kinds of skin cancers and hers is one of the few that is invasive.

    If you have a good doctor (which it sounds like you DO) then take heart. Her cancer surgery was several years ago and she remains healthy and strong to this day.
    Jun 25, 2009
  5. Ann F

    Ann F Advanced Member Gold Member

    Re: ?Melanoma?

    Best wishes for a quick and complete recovery.
    Jun 25, 2009
  6. gingertannery

    gingertannery Advanced Member Gold Member

    Re: ?Melanoma?

    Have had it 2 times so far...15 and 10 years ago.. and more suspicious moles are lurking. Just get a good doctor... have it removed completely. Then do what is needed -chemo if suggested..but probably won't be suggested. Then get a good dermo DR ( my Dr checks every square inch of me including in my ears and my scalp, he documents every mole/spot and rates it for color, shape and location.. then removes ANYTHING that changes when I go back.)...and go once a year faithfully. Wear sunscreen and protect your skin any time you can... hats etc.- that means you too!! Melanoma is nothing to ignore.. but caught early.. can be very controlled. I also had another kind of skin cancer on my nose.. can't remember what it was... Basil cell carcinoma or something. I know you are freaked right now... calm down until you get the results. More than likely it will be fine. You probably caught it early... BTW.. mine never look like melanoma.. shocks the DR's every time!!! Good luck.. I'll pray for great news!! Everyone needs to get checked evey few years!!!!! And I am due.. so thank you for the reminder!!
    Jun 26, 2009
  7. rennea

    rennea Legacy Member Gold Member

    Re: ?Melanoma?

    Thanks Ginger for the info. They did some extra tests and DH is having it "dug" out this Friday. Then they send it away to the Cancer Clinic in Vancouver. Hopefully it comes back that he doesn't need anymore treatment!
    Jun 27, 2009
  8. cookingwith_tara

    cookingwith_tara Advanced Member

    Re: ?Melanoma?

    I don't want to be a negative nellie but i do want to share my experience with it...

    My MIL had melanoma cancer...went in to have it removed. Went through some rounds of chemo and somehow while in the hospital (she was a very old 65 if you know what I mean...some people age gracefully but she did not) she developed Myasthenia Gravis due to being given iodine which she is allergic too anyway. MG is a disorder that sort of shuts down muscles in the tongue, eyelids, little muscles which i never heard of such but this is what the doctor said. When I researched it i could not find a reason why soemone develope it there was no real explanation. She passed away - they said from the melanoma. Sounded a little fishy to me b/c her doctor was horrible! She went from hospital to rehabilitation home, to hospital many times. She eventually spent her last few days in a wonderful Hospice care center. It was a terrible ordeal for all of us.

    I would say a good doctor is the key and maybe get a second opinion. Really do your homework on the cancer AND the doctor.
  9. pampered.chris

    pampered.chris Veteran Member Gold Member

    Re: ?Melanoma?

    Interesting. My father was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis 11 years ago. (He was 42) It happened pretty quick when it was noticed. He looked similar to a stroke patient by the way his face reacted. However, those signs in the face are long since gone and he is actually quite healthy. It is a disease that has no cure and they do not have any idea why people get it. My father has undergone multiple treatments to get him to where he is today. Which while he isn't perfect and young and healthy, he is better than he was. Myasthenia effects the muscular system, nervouse system and the immunine system and is sometimes compared to MS. However, while there is no cure, most people with Myasthenia can live up to 20 years but ultimately end up on life support at the end. I have hope though that my dad will beat all of those odds and be around for a very very long time!
    Perhaps there was more wrong than the Melanoma and the Myasthenia or that because of both it caused multiple problems for her. Also, some Melanoma can be very aggressive, as can any type of cancer.

    Sorry for the hijack Renea. On to you a bit more. Do you have access to anything like the American Cancer Society in Canada? They would be able to help you with a lot of extra information regarding cancer and help get you in support groups or what not. It sounds like your DH has a GREAT doctor and they will get this taken care of quickly. I just got home this morning at 4am from the Relay For Life (The big party each year for the American Cancer Society's fundraising teams). I am a commitee member and plan all of the middle of the night games. We are fighting for a cure and hopefully we will find one. It saddens me that you have to go through this. YOu have had one heck of a year. But you are so strong and you will get through this. Let me know if you need anything. HUGS!!!!!
  10. BadGirl

    BadGirl Member Gold Member

    Re: ?Melanoma?

    I used to go to the tanning booth pretty regularly a few years go. Turns out that it caused malignant melanoma in my left arm. After surgery, I was left with a gaping hole 7 inches long, three inches wide, and the incision went down to my bone. The scar is not very impressive now, but I am so thankful to have my arm. Really. I cam very close to losing it due to the cancer.

    You need to wear sunscreen religiously, and protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays. In summer - and, really, all year long - wear long sleeves and long pants to keep the sun from your arms and legs, and be sure to wear sunscreen on all visible skin. Also wear a hat with a wide brim. And something very important --> wear polarized sunglasses. The highest amount of melatonin that you have in your eyes is found in your pupils. Surprisingly, your eyes can also have melanoma set in them, so do your best to ensure that your eyeballs are protected.

    There is a HUGE difference between levels of cancer and stages of cancer. I know in my experience that I had Level IV melanoma, which meant that the cancer had reached a signnificant depth in my arm almost down to my bone. Here is a quick run-down on the Levels of skin cancer:

    The staging is based on these measurements, and is classified as follows:
    • Melanoma in-situ - the melanoma is present only in the epidermis; a Breslow thickness and Clark's level are not determined for this early stage lesion
    • Stage I - less than 1 mm thick
    • Stage II - greater than 1 mm thick or Clark's level IV-V (invasion into reticular dermis or subcutaneous tissue)
    • Stage III - has spread to local lymph nodes (may or may not have known of a primary lesion) or Clark's level V (invades subcutaneous tissue)
    • Stage IV - presents with distant metastasis (most commonly liver, lung, and brain)
    Now, here is a link that can help you find the definition for cancer stages for specific types of cancer. Cancer Stages : Sitemap .

    Keep in mind that different cancers have different criteris of stages, and have different levels in each stage.

    Like I said, I had Level IV skin cancer, which was bad enough, but if I had applied that same Level IV to the general stages of cancer, I would have been classified as having pervasive and terminal cancer in almost all of my internal organs - and I most certainly did not have that going on. thank goodness!

    It's good that you're doing research...but make sure that the info that you read is complete and accurate, and don't let the terminology scare you too much. And for heavens sake, don't read too much, or it will scare you to death!

    Here's a good site to get additional information: Melanoma Hope Network, Melanoma Trials, Skin Cancer, Treatment

    Everyone - including middle Eastern, central-European, African and other dark-skinned folks, can be prone to getting skin cancer. It is true that it is more likely to afflict those folks who have lighter skin, but no one is immune from the possibility of skin cancer. The results of burning, peeling, tanning, burning, peeling, and tanning cycle, you are -more likely to experience problems that a darker person. You should be more respectful of your health and your appearance and take better care of your skin.
    It is estimated that 1 out of 7 people in the United States will develop some form of this cancer during their lifetime. One serious sunburn can increase the risk by as much as 50%.

    Here is more info:
    What is Skin Cancer?

    (From the National Cancer Institute PDQ Statement)

    Skin cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the outer layers of your skin. Your skin protects your body against heat, light, infection, and injury. It also stores water, fat, and vitamin D.

    The skin has two main layers and several kinds of cells. The top layer of skin is called the epidermis. It contains three kinds of cells: flat, scaly cells on the surface called squamous cells; round cells called basal cells; and cells called melanocytes, which give your skin its color.


    (From the National Cancer Institute PDQ Statement)

    There are several types of cancer that start in the skin. The most common are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer, which are covered in this PDQ patient information statement.

    Skin cancer is more common in people with light colored skin who have spent a lot of time in the sunlight. Skin cancer can occur anywhere on your body, but it is most common in places that have been exposed to more sunlight, such as your face, neck, hands, and arms.

    Skin cancer can look many different ways. The most common sign of skin cancer is a change on the skin, such as a growth or a sore that won't heal. Sometime there may be a small lump. This lump can be smooth, shiny and waxy looking, or it can be red or reddish brown. Skin cancer may also appear as a flat red spot that is rough or scaly. Not ail changes in your skin are cancer, but you should see your doctor if you notice changes in your skin.

    Full Text Available Here


    (From the National Cancer Institute PDQ Statement)

    Melanoma is a disease of the skin in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the cells that color the skin (melanocytes). Melanoma usually occurs in adults, but it may occasionally be found in children and adolescents. Your skin protects your body against heat, light, infection, and injury. It is made up of two main layers: the epidermis (the top layer) and dermis (the inner layer). Melanocytes are found in the epidermis and they contain melanin, which gives the skin its color. Melanoma is sometimes called cutaneous melanoma or malignant melanoma.

    Melanoma is a more serious type of cancer than the more common skin cancers, basal cell cancer or squamous cell cancer, which begin in the basal or squamous cells of the epidermis. If you have basal cell or squamous cell cancer of the skin, refer to the patient information statement for skin cancer.

    Like most cancers, melanoma is best treated when it is found (diagnosed) early. Melanoma can spread (metastasize) quickly to other parts of the body through the lymph system or through the blood. (Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures that are found throughout the body; they produce and store infection-fighting cells.) You should see your doctor if you have any of the following warning signs of melanoma: change in the size, shape, or color of a mole; oozing or bleeding from a mole; or a mole that feels itchy, hard, lumpy, swollen, or tender to the touch. Melanoma can also appear on the body as a new mole. Men most often get melanoma on the trunk (the area of the body between the shoulders and hips) or on the head or neck; women most often get melanoma on the arms and legs.

    If you have signs of skin cancer, your doctor will examine your skin carefully. If a mole or pigmented area doesn't look normal, your doctor will cut it out (called local excision) and look at it under the microscope to see if it contains cancer. This is usually done in a doctor's office. It is important that this biopsy is done correctly.

    Full Text Available Here
    Jun 28, 2009
  11. stefani2

    stefani2 Veteran Member

    Re: ?Melanoma?

    Rennea - my thoughts are with you - please up-date with the results. Funny how I don't 'know' you but am somehow connected cuz I always seem to sense something is going on with you BEFORE you talk about it....

    Jun 28, 2009
  12. rennea

    rennea Legacy Member Gold Member

    Re: ?Melanoma?

    WOW thanks Badgirl for all that information!!!

    {{hugs}} right back at you Jenna :)
    Jun 28, 2009
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