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Melanoma and Sentinel Node
Dec 28, 2004

Hi . I am 7 years positive and successfully kept the virus at bay by taking Trizivir and Viramune for the past 4 years. I recently have had a 1 mm melanoma removed from my torso. It is a Clarks level IV , but my dermatoligist is confident that it was all removed. The chest x-ray and blood and urine tests are negative. Should I have a sentinel node performed just in case? How soon should I have it done? If positive what course of action should I follow? I feel fine , save for occasional quick "jolts" in my head/brain that are basically painless and may or may not be related to medications/allergies???? Thanks for your time.

Response from Dr. Pierone

A melanoma of 1mm and Clarks level IV would be classified as stage I and has a low risk of recurrence. However, the involvement of the torso denotes a higher risk and men are at higher risk as well. Although it is controversial, some authorities do recommend sentinel node biopsy in situations like yours. There may also be a role for PET scanning. The management of melanoma is complex and evolving fairly quickly. You might strongly consider having an evaluation by an oncologist or cancer center with expertise in melanoma management. Please give us feedback if you do see a melanoma expert. Thanks for posting.



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