• What tests are done to detect melanoma?

    Asked by Sunnysideup on Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    What tests are done to detect melanoma?

    3 Answers from the Community

    • CAS1's Avatar

      Visual and biopsy

      over 7 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      I am not sure what you are looking for with your question but, CAS1 is correct in that a biopsy is the best way to determine histologically if the cells are normal or mutated. Microscopically and genetically, there are certain genes that can mutate and lead to the diagnosis like CDKN2A which is a gene that is often found in hereditary melanoma but I am not sure if you are referring to genetics in your question. Carm RN.

      over 7 years ago
    • melanomamama's Avatar

      "Visual and biopsy" is the correct answer for melanoma on the skin surface. For melanoma that has metastasized, they palpate (feel) suspect lymph nodes, and they run periodic scans (PET and/or CT scans, plus MRI scans) along with blood work. I'm not sure what they look for in the blood work, but we aren't told numbers that go up and down as other cancer patients are. Another suspect sign that melanoma might have spread is the development of vitiligo (whitening of patches of skin). My symptom of metastatic melanoma was chronic anemia of undiagnosed cause. A CT scan eventually revealed the blood-sucking tumor in my abdomen. A later brain tumor was noticed by my sister who saw me acting uncoordinated and speaking with slurred speech. A brain MRI confirmed the tumor, and surgery removed it. At another time, I had difficulty swallowing, which was the result of another metastasis in my throat/chest area confirmed with a "needle" biopsy--not a surgical procedure. My systemic immunotherapy treatments (interleukin-2 in 2008 and ipilimumab, also called Yervoy in 2012) have helped to keep the cancer inactive, but with Stage IV melanoma, I'm not expecting a total cure. The problem is to learn vigilance while avoiding paranoia. Tough job!
      Constance Emerson Crooker

      over 7 years ago

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