I was diagnosed with a melanoma on my vulva today, how frightened should I be
Person's Gender: Female
Person's Age: 65
nothing only got the diagnosis today
Hi,Did your doctor tell you what type of melanoma or what stage it is?
No I don't have and other than it is a melanoma, I go back to the Doctor on Wedensday (Australian Time) and fly tp Brisbane Next Friday to have a PET Scan and Surgery Monday (I think). I only got the phone call very late today
First of all let me begin by saying I know that this cannot be easy for you. It is sure to be generating a lot of anxiety, but in my experience this is often helped by getting as much information as one can about their condition. Yes Melanoma is a serious diagnosis but lot of people with Melanoma get cured and lead completely normal lives. The first step is to get your melanoma staged. This is what the PET scan is for. This will indicate whether the melanoma has spread or not. Along with this there are numerous other factors that go into staging a melanoma such as melanoma depth, lymph node involvement and presence or absence of ulceration. Once these are all known a stage is assigned to the melanoma. There are four stages in all. The prognosis of a melanoma is expressed in terms of 5 year survival rate with the assumption that patients who survive 5 years after treatment are cured of the condition. For stage 1 melanoma the 5 year survival rate is 95-100% falling gradually to less than 10% for stage 4 melanoma. The staging will be done after the surgery and will be told to you by your treating surgeon. Further management and prognosis will depend on this staging. Here is a staging tool that you can use yourself: http://www.melanomacenter.org/melanomastaging/stagestart.cfm Here are the investigations required for staging a melanoma. You can discuss these with your doctor to make sure everything is done: http://www.melanomacenter.org/staging/index.htmlHope this information is useful, please feel free to ask if you have any queries.Please remember to only rate my answer when you are satisfied. If you feel the need to click either "Helped a little" or "I expected more", please stop and reply to me via the CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with the issue you have. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.
MBBS, MD (Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology)