RAPID GROWING MELANOMA DETECTED
A 58 year old fair skinned Ukrainian woman presented for a digital skin check. She had a background of recent mastectomy for breast cancer, lymph node dissection and chemotherapy.
BEFORE SKIN CHECK
She had had several skin checks by her GP where nothing was found. Her visit to Bondi Junction Skin Cancer Clinic was her first professional skin check.
WHAT THE SKIN CHECK FOUND?
A new lesion had arisen on her left upper forearm over a 6 month period, which her GP had seen but had expressed only mild concern about. The lesion had some concerning attributes. These included:
- Its shape was ‘like a bubble’,
- it was coloured dark purple/black,
- it was crusty, and bled easily.
- The skin was often itchy and
- occasionally has a red surround.
These were all skin cancer warning signs.
Thorough Full Body Scan
Digital Imaging was performed and the lesion was identified clinically as a Nodular Melanoma. It was surgically excised at the same visit.
Rapid Growing Skin Cancer
After the skin cancer was removed, the pathology results confirmed that the skin cancer was growing very rapidly. It was diagnosed as an Invasive Nodular Melanoma with a Breslow thickness of 1.4mm, and 5 mitoses per high power field..
She was referred to the Sydney Melanoma Unit who performed a wide-area excision as well as Sentinel Node Biopsy to assess whether any of the regional lymph nodes were involved. This proved clear, so a lymph node dissection was not performed.
She Survived - a Lucky Outcome
The patient is alive and well and was advised to have 3 monthly skin checks involving sequential digital monitoring of her moles for the first 2 years, followed by 6 monthly reviews for the rest of her life.