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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is melanoma cancer spreading to lymph nodes a cause for concern?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. K. Harish

Oncologist, Surgical

Practicing since :1986

Answered : 59 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 27 May 2014 in Cancer
Question: Hello Dr.Grief
My husband was operated the day before yesterday of Stage III Melanoma Skin Cancer. zHe never had a dark spot, only a big lump between his jaw bone and collar bone, the surgeon removed most of the tummors but he said there might be some microscopic ones lodge in what is left of his lymps.
How serious, can he be saved? If not how long would he have to live.
doctor
Answered by Dr. K. Harish 40 minutes later
Brief Answer:
melanoma is aggressive

Detailed Answer:
Melanoma is a variety of skin cancer which is many a time described as 'aggressive'. That means that the cancer spreads fast. From the description you have given he must have had 'neck dissection'. This would have been done for the cancer spreading to lymph nodes.

Melanoma has certain bad qualities. It is unpredictable. Many cases behave aggressively while some of them are indolent. You are lucky if you are in this minority. In addition, it can spread specifically to organs like liver. Another crucial factor is that melanoma does not respond well to systemic therapy unlike many other cancers.

First, wait for the pathology report. Your doctor would be able to give you some idea on the outlook.

At this moment it is difficult to predict the outcome. If it is an aggressive variety, the outlook would be guarded while it could be better if it is an indolent one.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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