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Melanoma-to check lymph nodes or not
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Melanoma-to check lymph nodes or not

I am a 32 year old female, diagnosed with stage 1, T1aNOMO melanoma, .75 mm nonulcerated, clark's level lll, superficial spreading malignant melanoma.  I had the mole initially removed by a dermatologist and then had further tissue removed around the mole by a surgeon who specializes in melanoma care.  The doctor did not suggest testing the nearby lymph nodes, he stated the typical guidlines (NCCN) appear that they only test lymph nodes when the melanoma is at least 1 mm.  Based on physical examination the dr. did not feel any swollen lymph nodes near the tumor site.  The lab resluts from the excision have come back clean with no further melanoma detected.  I have a lot of anxiety over not checking the nearby lyph nodes because my life is so precious to me and I'd hate for it to have spread and I didn't catch it.  Also have strange painful spots on my head and jaw with bad headaches, of course worried about this being related to Melanoma too.  I do have appointments set up with neurology and oncology for further discussin, but wanted to see if anyone else was in my boat.  I have two beautiful young children and a loving husband, life is so precious to me.  Thanks a bunch for those that respond.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm very sorry to read of your diagnosis. I am not in your position but do have a friend with a slightly worse diagnosis than yours and she elected not to have her lymph nodes checked. That is because the treatment options were identical ie surgery only so she felt there wasn't any point in getting them checked.

The good news is that she has been well and it is coming up to 3 years since hers was removed.

Take care of yourself and your family.
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Avatar_n_tn
i would get them checked.  You hear of horror stories all the time of people who had this same situation and them bam, a few months later it has spread when they were told that it was completely removed.  I would NOT risk my life.  That test would be essential to me for moving on and believeing that it was 100% gone.

im in the same boat as you as far as having small children.  The test is a pretty easy no big deal test.  I do not have melanoma or skin cancer but i came across this and wanted to give my 2 cents :)
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Avatar_m_tn
I had .75mm three years ago on the top of my head and I had my lymph nodes check out on both sides of my neck.  They were okay and so was the margin. But, It was very painfull and it hurt for six months later.  I found out the doctor went too far in checking these lymph nodes.  He did it just for extra money.  With .75mm you DO NOT NEED TO CHECK YOU LYMPH NODES.  You will be just fine.  I just got melanoma again, this times .25mm.  This time also on top of my head.  I had it operated on Monday, two day ago.  All went well.  They cut a 1cm cut around the melanoma.  This operation was a walk in the park compair to the other one.  And this is just as good.  I see a dermatologist every three months and I hope to get it early if it comes again.  I also check my own boby and tell the doctor what I want off.  If the doctor don"t want to do it.  I will just get another one.   Jack
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428185_tn?1203745389
I am exactly in your position - same type, but smaller (0.55 mm), but the lab put it at stage IIA because of Clark Level III. I had a PET/CT full-body scan, negative for metastasis and no enlarged lymph nodes, but a suspicious "hot spot" (PET measures metabolism, cancers burn more sugar so have higher metabolism than normal cells) in the left collarbone area, and that node is often a first indicator of metastasis. I'm now waiting for an oncology appointment to have that node biopsied. If you haven't had a PET/CT scan, I'd advise one - I'd be surprised if your doctor didn't recommend it, especially with Clark's Level III. My scan results are good, but melanoma is nasty and sneaky, so I wouldn't waste any time. Best wishes.
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