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colon/liver/melanoma

Hi
I am a 46 years old male, I am healthy, I never smoked, I drink moderately. I have recently had a wide local excision and a sentinel nodes biopsy. I had a 2.5mm black spot on my back that was removed.

the result was no problem with the skin on the back (2cm per side were taken) and 2 out of the 3 lymphnodes were ok while one had something (not sure how much). Then went for CT SCAN and I had a surgery scheduled to remove some more lymphnodes (chest area). The surgery was postponed given the results of the CT SCAN.

I saw the doctors last week who told me that they found some lesions in the liver ("that couldbe cancer"), the radiologist saw some spots in the bowel (colon I think) who coudl have been stool or perhaps others things and a spot in the tummy.

The doctors told me that it could be a bowel cancer and/or a melanoma which woudl have to be treated very differently. They did not send much time talking about the liver.

Reading through the internet I found that if it is a colon cancer and it had spread into the liver the chances of survival are quite low. Equally if it is a melanoma the chances are quite low. The nurses talked to me as if it was already a certainty that all of this is true.

I am desperately trying to find out what it is and it is hugely stressfull

I am scheduled for a colonoscopy this tuesday (I suspect to learn whether it is a bowel cancer or not) and depending on the result a posible biopsy of the "spot" in teh tummy to understand if it is a melanoma. In the meantime I did the blood tests (I think for liver testing) and teh doctor said they were ok.

I have no symptoms / just a slight pain the lower stomach (improved in teh last few days) and sometimes some blood when I wipe after going to the bathroom / I never noticed any blood in the stool. The doctors kept telling me that given the small spot on teh back it should not be a melanoma cancer but they do not know.

I have a few questions:

1) is it possible that  lesions in the liver could be something else then cancer? what is the likelyhood given the above description?

2) what could a "spot" in teh tummy be?

3 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,

The lesions in the liver could be simple cysts which wouldn't progress over time or destroy the liver. Another possibility is an infection, an abscess - you should review your travel and exposure history to chronic infections like tuberculosis.

It is unlikely to get a melanoma on the trunk, it usually involves a sun-exposed area. Looking at your internet handle, massissam, doesn't quite sound like a Caucasian with a lot of freckles (this would be the skin type most at risk for melanoma). The spot may simply be a nevus.

For colorectal cancer with liver involvement, there are some patients who are able to undergo a curative treatment. It would of course be best to discuss your actual prognosis once the results of the skin and colonoscopy come out.

Stay positive.
Avatar universal
Thanks HeinrikMD for the quick response
today (26/02/08) I had a colonoscopy done / the doctor told me he found a polyp in teh rectum, which he proceeded to take out and something else (not sure what) in the ascending colon, of which he took a sample. he had sent both for biopsy which I shoudl have in 5 to 7 days.

when i spoke to the oncologist surgeon she confirmed that the blod exams for the liver came back normal and that maximum I have something like 5% of the liver with lesions

i had to undergo a pulmonary test and a cardigraph in preparation for a transfer to another hospital, if it was melanoma but I was told the tests have been cancelled and I have now to undergo a gastroenterinal (not sure of spelling) test / I do not know what this is

Also I was told that if they did not find anything in the colon they would take a sample of the liver and do a biopsy

does this make sense? does it indicate anything?

thanks again

P.S. I am Italian / although I have plenty of sunspots I had them from birth and they are all small except the one they took out . which was 1.7mm deep / I was told this is very small compared to others


thanks again for any guidance
Avatar universal
Hi,

It seems that  most of these procedures are still in the process of gathering evidence for disease.
i understand the frustration that there seems to be too many tests being performed, however, this is because the search for the final answer usually comes from cascades of tests and not really one confirmatory test.
pay particular attention to the findings in the biopsy, since those provide the clearest answer that cancer is indeed present, and you may think of all the tests as continuing until all possible sites that can be biopsied have been considered (i use the word consider, because not all sites are worth risking an invasive procedure.
Unfortunately, there is usually delay/turnaround time for the biopsy reports to come out, and waiting is never much fun.
Stay positive.
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