Newly diagnosed with metastatic melanoma and in need of advice

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5/19/2017 3:33pm
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Replies: 5

               I need some advice as I have no experience with cancer...until now. My Dad had a lesion on his arm biopsied and the pathology report showed melanoma. Apparently it is not the primary lesion and they did another biospy of a lesion on his face and that came back with the same results. He had a PET scan and MRI of the brain this week and the surgeon said that the brain was clear but he has two spots on his lung, one of which they "are very concerned about." Which I assume is cancer.    

                  My question is about what to do next. The dermatologist sent him to this general surgeon in the Jacksonville, FL area who ordered all of the scans and is going to call on Monday to talk about doing a biopsy.  We also have an appointment at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa for June 5th and will meet with an oncologist and surgeon on the same day. I am wondering if we should wait and have everything done at Moffitt or have the surgeon do his thing here and then follow up at Moffitt. I feel like my dad should have it done at Moffitt since they are the best cancer center in FL, but I also feel like we have been waiting for all of these appointments and tests and the weeks keep ticking by... I just worry that the longer we wait the worse it will get (and it's already pretty bad).

                 So if anyone has any advice I would appreciate it. I feel lost trying to navigate through the process. Thank you.



My suggestion is to wait until

June 5. This place is well known for treatment of melanoma .

In addition if's good to have a team that will be treating your Dad in the same place and communicating to each other.

As our experience show,  it's very important to have the correct treatment plan developed from the start and there are usually three parties involved in decision making process: oncologist,

surgeon and radiologist.

Thank you. That's the way I feel but I just wanted another more experienced opinion.



How long your Dad had those lesions? if for long time, say 1-2 years, I'd assume the mitotic rate is on a slower side, and I'd think waiting few weeks won't change anything. This is just my opnion. Most imporant thing is get not a regular sugeon but one experienced in MM, and not a regular dermatologist but a skin cancer dr., this is a sad lession from my own experience.  

Personally, I would wait for the Moffitt appointment. You and your dad could listen to what the general surgeon has to say, but I wouldn't go for a needle biopsy. I know a couple of extra weeks feels like FOREVER... but whether the lung lesions are melanoma or not, the treatment for stage IV will be the same. Risking an invasive procedure to have answers sooner may ease your minds, but could cause additional physical issues. Unfortunately, waiting is sometimes part of the process. If your dad is still walking, talking, and eating... he's probably fine to wait the additional 2-3 weeks. The expert care at Moffitt will be worth the wait. 

Hi - Thank you so much for sharing on this forum. I hope that your fathers treatment worked out very well. I know this is old thread, but we are in similar situation. My dad had malignant pathology results on his primary lesion on his scalp and lymph node on his neck when they were both biopsied Apr 2. After the run around on tryiing to schedule an appt at UAB (we live in Alabama), we finally reached out to Moffitt this morning and have a consult next Thursday April 26 at Moffitt, but local gen surgeon is willing to remove primary lesion Monday and local oncologist will refer to ENT specialist for neck lymph procedure. Our concern is waiting for consult next Thursday then having then schedule more tests and not do surgery for another couple of weeks. If we knew the treatment would be fast after consult, we would definitely wait, but if its one week until consult then going to be 2 (or more) weeks until surgery, we'd rather just go ahead and get it out. I'd love to hear how your experience with Moffitt turned out. 

God bless you and your family.