• I am doing skin checks every 4 months for Stage 2 Melanoma. I recently got a CT scan that shows I have a sizable lesion on my liver.

    Asked by MamaFagan03 on Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    I am doing skin checks every 4 months for Stage 2 Melanoma. I recently got a CT scan that shows I have a sizable lesion on my liver.

    Any thoughts or experiences? I read that it happens to women more often than men and that it can be caused by menopause. I recently had a hysterectomy but not an oophorectomy so the ovaries are still there so I don't think I have gone into menopause. Anybody out there with any thoughts or ideas of what may be happening or what to expect? I have an ultrasound in 3 days to identify further.

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • Clyde's Avatar

      It could be so many things and not necessarily related to the melanoma. There really isn't any way to know until they do the ultrasound. Be careful about reading up on things until you know what you should be reading up on, i.e. you can stress yourself out over nothing because you don't have enough info to go on. I know its counteractive, but try to wait for the question (the test results) before you try and find an answer.

      over 3 years ago
    • KimKDVM's Avatar

      It is not usual to have CT scans at stage II. Were you having symptoms? What was the info on your primary etc. ulcerated, location, Breslow depth.... Hopefully the lesion is something benign, a PET/CT will measure SUV uptake and can give you an idea if it is a mel met, and if there are other lesions floating around.

      The ultrasound is also a great way to diagnose based on the mass' appearance in the liver. Additionally it is possible to do needle guided biopsy to see what is going on. If it is mel, make sure to get it tested for genetic mutations. Braf, (and C-Kit if it was a mucosal melanoma). Based on that info you should qualify for several clinical trials.

      Don't forget, although IL-2 has a 15% response rate, if you are healthy enough to undergo treatment, it may enhance the other immunotherapy treatments. If a complete responder like I was, and can make it out 30 months without a recurrence, the chance of seeing mel again is slim to none based on a really nice paper published a few years back. The recovery time is fast, and to enter some trials you needed to have failed at least one course of therapy. With all the new drugs coming out, IL-2 still has the best stats for long-term remission.

      Mel is usually not considered to be hormone responsive so estrogen / progesterone is probably NOT playing a role in your mel. Women have greater survival when everything is equal compared to the men.

      Best of luck, hopefully it is nothing.....

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Lesions can be benign - you will probably have a needle biopsy with your ultrasound so that can test it.

      over 3 years ago
    • MamaFagan03's Avatar

      Thanks KIMKDVM! I was having issues with my left armpit. Sudden loss of sensation and feeling, intense irritation of the skin. I had a nerve inclusive scar band that had really limited my range of motion and did some therapy stretches to take care of it and was back to full range of motion. I thought maybe that scar tissue had broke or something with the never isnide and was causing the sudden onset of symptoms on my armpit. I know it's a weird place to have pain and since it is usually touching other skin it gets irritated pretty easily. So...my oncologist ordered a CT scan. There was thickening in the skin of my armpits but they said that could be cause by the kind of deodorant I use or from other scar tissues. In that CT scan they inadvertantly found what I was told was "a sizable lesion" on my liver that will first need an ultrasound and possibly further testing. The thing for me is that I don't really like to delve too deeply into things like this. I did that with my original diagnosis. For me the worst has been dealt with, the initial blow of being told you have cancer, whatever this is , is just a bump along the way! Thank you all for your comments!

      over 3 years ago
    • KimKDVM's Avatar

      Hi Mama, yes the shock takes your breath away. How fortunate your doc ordered the CT. My progression to stage IV from IIA 8 years after my initial diagnosis sort of happened the same way. My chiropractor ordered back x-rays for a chronic back issue when Oops! The x-ray caught my lung tumor at the top of the film. She saved my life as that many years out, stage IIA no longer is recommended routine scans of any type unless symptoms occur - I had none.

      Again, I am hoping the mass is benign when biopsied. If not the thing that helps me is to have a back up plan of sorts, even plans B-Z if needed! For me it gave me some sense of control over something I had no control over, which in turn helped me to turn off or at least divert my mind to positive energy that may be helpful.

      Some do better not doing research. We are all different and cope differently. I guess with my medical training I wanted to be one step ahead and prepared when I went back to my onc. Definitely get the mass checked for genetic mutations. Consider IL-2, and MEK/Braf inhibitors, possibly Yervoy which unleashes the brakes on your immune system to fight the cancer. There are some elegant clinical trials out there.

      Another paper found that undergoing TIL followed by high dose IL-2 had a better response rate than IL-2 alone. It is a rough treatment but has better results and durable remission. You probably have to go to NIH for that. For the moment the Dr. doing that slips my mind, but he is one of the big wigs doing that treatment. I am sure you can google the article.

      If you haven't visited the MRF website, that is another excellent site for information with a very active patient bulletin board and chat room. You can get great info firsthand.

      Sending cyberhugs.

      over 3 years ago
    • StrongSteph's Avatar

      Well, I am a stage IV survivor....and I have been through cancer boot camp for sure! There are a couple new options for melanoma patients. Zelboraf is a drug that is for those who are BRAFF compatible. You will have to get a test for this. The other new drug is Ipimilubad....or Yervoy, as the pharmecuticals call it. This one definitely helps some people to have tumor shrinkage. I hope you are seeing melanoma specialist...all my best to you!!

      over 3 years ago
    • KimKDVM's Avatar

      It sucks to wait for your doc to get back in to town for answers. Hemangiomas are common and benign unlike the more aggressive cancerous hemangioSARCOMAS. Either way, due to the blood supply and possibly size, you don't want to risk it rupturing. Again, hopefully it is benign and small enough you only need to monitor it. Although melanomas can be very vascular, they tend to be more solid and would look differently on ultrasound compared to a fluid filled structure like a hemangioma. Hang in there, the waiting never gets easier......

      over 3 years ago

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