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I agree to Shutterstock's Website Terms, Privacy Policy, Licensing Terms and to receive emails that I can opt out of at any time. All plans come as a Standard license, and can be upgraded to an Enhanced license at any time. As I related two posts back, the revelation (if that’s what you call it) that I had malignant melanoma was a real shocker. I was scheduled to go into surgery three days later to get a wide excision and a sentinel lymph node biopsy, both of which would be used as a means to determine if the cancer had, in fact, invaded my body. I did ask the doctor why a plastic surgeon would be performing my procedures, being naturally curious after have just finished seven seasons of Nip Tuck on iTunes a few months prior.
His answer was excellent, and made eminent sense as well, since the wide excision I would be subjected to would require the skill of an expert skin specialist, i.e. The purpose of the wide excision was to take a minimum 2 centimeter (about .8 inches) of skin from around the site on my right thigh where the melanoma was found to excise any nearby cancer cells that may have been missed in the initial mole removal.
The result was a roughly 8 inch suture line along my waist line that looks like it could be a C-section scar (were I a woman).
The area under my belly from which the skin graft for my thigh was removed, resulting in a bit of a tummy tuck.
A week or so later, the wide excision area was healing well, although the image below may not reflect that to the non-medical observer. The area of the wide excision on my thigh, one week after surgery, with skin graft and blue dye visible. The second part of the surgical procedure was something called a sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy. The sentinel lymph node is detected using an injected radioactive isotope (hurts like the dickens when it’s first injected, but the sting and burn passes quickly) and then using a gamma camera to track the path of the radioactive isotope through the lymphatic system to see which lymph nodes it collects in first, which in turn indicates the sentinel lymph node(s). The surgeon, later the same day, will use a hand-held gamma particle sensor, in conjunction with an injection of a large particle blue dye, to locate the sentinel lymph node, both visually and via instruments so he can remove the lymph node, and perhaps one or two others in the same region. Typically, but not always, for a melanoma on the thigh, like mine, the sentinel lymph node will be in the area of the groin on the same side of the body as the melanoma.
Another side effect which is merely temporary is that it might turn one’s urine green (yellow plus blue), as was my situation (and no, I have no pictures of this rather interesting bodily output).
After the wide excision and SLN biopsy is recovery, which requires minimal strain on all the surgical sites. As a result of the above lab pathology, I was told the next step was most likely to get more specialized surgical help to remove the remaining lymph nodes in my right groin in the hopes that the cancer could be removed surgically, and that that would probably need to be followed up by some sort of treatment depending on how much (of any) other cancer was found in the other lymph nodes. Tomorrow morning I have my first appointment at Mass General, to learn what the near-term future holds for me.

Stephen Jay Gould (one of my intellectual heroes) was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 1982 and had a median lifespan of only eight months after diagnosis. Let me know how your lunch goes next week with the fire fighter (although I thought that cancer is only staged to Stage IV, not V).
I am meeting with the fireman on Wednesday and will give you a report as well as find out what treatment they used in his case.
Looks like I will be going with pegylated Interferon-alpha 2b (known as PEG or Sylatron) when I am done with this darn drain and finished with my healing processing. AboutThis blog started as a place to explore the pursuit of parallel, varied interests in the vein of a Renaissance person in light of society's demand for specialization, but my diagnosis of cancer - malignant melanoma - in March 2011, has changed all that. For now, this blog will deal with an exploration of how cancer affects one's life and perspectives, as well as share the voyage through diagnosis and treatment, hopefully with a positive outcome somewhere down the road. These Melanoma Mole pictures will give you some examples of what Melanoma Moles can look like. All of the images used on this website are found in various places throughout the internet and are believed to be within the public domain. If you think any content on this website infringes your copyright please let us know, and we will evaluate and possibly remove the images in question.
This item will be sent through the Global Shipping Programme and includes international tracking. By clicking Confirm bid, you are committing to buy this item from the seller if you are the winning bidder and have read and agree to the Global Shipping Programme terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab.
By clicking 1 Click Bid, you are agreeing to buy this item from the seller if you're the winning bidder. This is a private listing and your identity will not be disclosed to anyone except the seller. Everyone who signs up gets full access to our entire library, including our curated collections. Our Standard license allows you to use images for anything, except large print runs over 500,000+ or for merchandising. Once you have downloaded your image, you have life-long rights to use it under the terms of the license purchased. The doctor explained that plastic surgeons, while presently associated mostly with cosmetic procedures, are in fact specialists in working with and understanding skin and how it works.
At the same time, that same knowledge continued to be useful in addressing real medical problems, including skin cancer such as melanoma. In fact, I was told the wound was ultimately about 7 cm across as the skin sagged after being cut.

Additionally, as I found, more skin from my waist line was removed in order to create a properly seal that could be sutured.
One positive effect of this skin graft removal is that I have had, in effect, a tummy tuck and now look marginally more svelte.
Lymph nodes are a key part of the body’s immune system, and research and statistical analysis and correlation has suggested over the last decade or so that melanoma (and some other cancers) are more survivable if it can be determined which lymph nodes closest to a source of cancer would be responsible for that site on the body, and then analyzing those lymph nodes (via biopsy) to see if they have cancer cells in them.
That proved to be the case for me, and I have a nice suture at my right groin as a a memento. In my case that meant mostly bed rest with my leg horizontal, and the use of two crutches for several days. By clicking Confirm bid you commit to buy this item from the seller if you are the winning bidder.
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Further, plastic surgeons got their start as regular surgeons back in the time of World War II when many soldiers would come home from the war with terrible wounds – wounds they only survived due to the introduction and use of penicillin.
A week and a half after surgery, I’m now down to one crutch to try and minimize any potential stress to the skin graft. Anyone who researches the medical literature will confront the statistics for their disease. If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable. Those surgeons started to develop and specialize in techniques to help with the disfiguring woulds of the returning soldiers, to help them return to some sort of normalcy. And, in fact, a plastic surgeon, Joseph Murray, ended up receiving a Nobel Prize in medicine for performing a skin graft between identical twins. Gonzalez does not think additional treatment or discovery work is necessary unless additional symptoms of cancer show up.

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