Melanoma - Does a sentinel lymph node biopsy make sende?
I was diagnosed with a 0.7 mm thick melanoma nearly one month ago. It was behind my right ear, Clark level III, a 2/mm2 mitotic rate, and no ulceration. Chest x-rays, bloodwork, and an ultrasound of internal organs appear to be ok. A wide incision was done to remove the lesion three weeks ago. The pathology report of the removed melanoma showed clear margins with no further sign of malignancy.
The melanoma was removed three weeks ago. I am scheduled for a sentinel lymph node biopsy in two-and-a-half weeks(!) I have read that it makes little sense to have this biopsy done so long after the tumor was removed (apparently because the lymph node the cancer would have spread to can longer be ascertained with certainty.
Can anyone here shed some light on this issue for me?
As a standard protocol, after melanoma is diagnosed and it has been determined that no contraindications to sentinel lymph node dissection (SLND) are present, the patient may be scheduled to undergo wide local excision of the primary melanoma site and SLND. The advantage of this procedure is that it requires the removal of only one or a limited number of lymph nodes, far fewer than required in an elective lymph node dissection (ELND). So as stated by your doctors you should get it done.
It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your doctor. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.
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