How scared should we be?
August 25, 2006 1:44 PM Subscribe
If a biopsied spot turns out to be melanoma, what's likely to happen and what's not? Is there only a remote chance of needing chemo, radiation, or other terrifying stuff, or more than a remote chance? (Percentages, anyone?) I have some related questions, too.
posted by daisyace to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Three or so months ago, my husband had an ink-black spot under his toenail, or maybe on it -- we couldn't tell which. It looked as if he bumped his toe. After about a month, on a day spent tromping around in the water and hiking, it disappeared. But, the exact same place started going from very light gray to darker gray -- again, we can't tell if it's on the skin or the nail. A dermatologist he saw today said she sees some brown, and she's having him get a biopsy a week from Tuesday. She didn't find any more spots. My husband grew up in a beach town, with lots of sunburns, and his father's father had skin cancer on his face.
My husband thinks the spot might be moving along with the nail as the nail grows, though. Would that be inconsistent with melanoma, and what would it be consistent with?
If it is melanoma, how worried should we be, and about what possibilities? My ideal answer would be facts like, "x% of this kind of melanoma leads to y happening." (Well, my ideal answer would actually be, "What you describe doesn't sound like melanoma because...," but I'll take what I can get.)
Also, they've told him his foot will be encased in a boot after the biopsy. How bad will the biopsy be, and for how long afterwards?
I'd also be interested in recommendations for other discussion boards that would intelligently address this topic.