Is this something of concern?

Posted By
11/28/2010 1:16pm
Replies: 9

I had a melanoma on my left shoulder over 1 1/2 yrs ago. It was 2A, ulcerated with a high mitosis. I had all of the suspicious moles removed then stopped going to the doctor. I figured at my age it isn't going to happen again when I only had one really large and irregular mole. So here's why I am asking today: I see nothing visible and no lumps I can find on the arm but 6 or so weeks ago it started swelling in the hand and about 8 inches above the wrist. I first noticed because I couldn't wear a watch then later had to remove my wedding ring. Now today I cannot bend the fingers.

So please tell me its something else and if it were melanoma I would see something visible.

Lori C - (11/28/2010 - 1:35pm)

The problem is, no one can give you the answer you want because the mantra is "any persistent change must be biopsied".  It is probably not melanoma but "probably" is not an acceptable risk to take in dealing with something like melanoma.  You have absolutely nothing to lose by going to the doctor, telling him/her your history and letting them have a look at it and check it out.  On the other hand, ignoring it if it IS melanoma related would be - well, really bad.

Anonymous - (11/28/2010 - 1:48pm)

Age really has nothing to do with this disease. I urge you to find a dermatologist and/or physician that you trust and get check-ups on a regular basis. "Ignorance is bliss" does not apply to melanoma.

Janner - (11/28/2010 - 2:03pm)

Did you have a Sentinel Node biopsy when you had your melanoma removed?  Your description sounds a lot like lymphedema which can be triggered even by removing one lymph node from the drainage path.  This is where lymph fluid essentially get trapped and cannot drain.  Lymphedema can be annoying or serious.  The thing is, you want to learn to treat this early before it can become chronic.

So, it is possible this is NOT melanoma, but still related to your melanoma surgeries.  I definitely think a visit to the doctor is in order.  Even if it is not malignant and "only" lymphedema, it still needs to be treated!

Best wishes,


Anonymous - (11/28/2010 - 3:04pm)

Yes, I had a Sentinel Node biopsy with 2 nodes removed, but would lymphedema start a year and 8 months after the snb?

I agree with Janner that it sounds like lymphadema. Did you have any signs of lymphadema when you had the original SNB? and is this similar?

Nevertheless..with your history, you should go to the doctor.

I think you already know this

Anonymous - (11/28/2010 - 6:17pm)

No, no prior lymphadema. It just started mid October 20 months after the snb surgery. It seems to swell as I sleep then go down a bit during the day as I use it.

Janner - (11/28/2010 - 4:17pm)

Have you had some minor injury to the arm?  Yes, lymphedema can start later although that probably isn't the most common.  But you could have some type of trigger that starts an event and it just doesn't always go away on its own.  It sounds like the swelling is pretty significant so, no matter the cause, it is time to see a doctor.

Anonymous - (11/28/2010 - 6:23pm)

No, no injury either.

I lost confidence with my oncologist in April and since then I feel it sort of  has spread to/ applies to all doctors.

LynnLuc - (11/28/2010 - 9:35pm)

Change oncologists and find one who specialized in Melanoma...Melanoma is not like other cancers...If I had stayed with my original oncologist I would be dead now instead of NED for the past 8 months  = :o) You have to personally advocate, research and seek out the best oncologists and treatment plans for yourself...

Advocate for your own treatment.. Stage 4 Melanoma NED Surgery,Radiation, Temodar 300Mg July 2009-March 2010, then "Phase I Study of Anti-PD-1 Human Monoclonal Antibody MDX-1106 and Vaccine Therapy"