Dermatology Question



Patient Question

It is three days post-surgery. I had on the back probably a melanoma the size of 5 cm. I am not sure if all was resected. It could also have been a squamous cell carcinoma. Please advise what to do; I am very concerned about the outcome.

ChatGPT Answer

Dear Michael Truppe,

I understand that you are concerned about your recent surgery and the possibility of having had a melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma. As a dermatologist specialized in both of these conditions, I can provide you with some information and advice to help alleviate your concerns.

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that arises from the pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes. This is the most aggressive type of skin cancer and can spread to other parts of the body. A melanoma measuring 5cm is considered to be large and may require more extensive surgical resection to ensure that all cancerous cells are removed.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is another form of skin cancer that arises from the flat, scale-like cells called squamous cells. This type of cancer is less aggressive than melanoma but can still spread if not treated properly. The size of the lesion may also impact the treatment options and extent of resection required.

It is essential to know the exact diagnosis to provide you with the most accurate advice and recommendations. Therefore, it is crucial to have the removed tissue analyzed by a pathologist. This will help determine the type of cancer and whether it has been completely resected or not.

Regarding the Likert scale values you provided, it appears that you consistently rated your pain, swelling, and feeling of impairment as a 5, indicating severe discomfort. However, on June 12th, the pain severity decreased to a 4, and the swelling severity dropped to a 3. This may suggest that your symptoms are gradually improving over time. Still, it is essential to discuss persistent pain, swelling, or discomfort with your surgeon or healthcare provider.

Based on the information provided and your concerns, I would recommend the following steps:

  1. Wait for the pathology report: This report will give you a definitive diagnosis and will help your healthcare team determine the next steps in your treatment plan.
  2. Follow-up with your surgeon: Schedule an appointment with your surgeon to discuss the pathology report and any concerns you have about the surgery. Ensure that the surgeon verifies whether the tumor has been completely removed or not.
  3. Monitor your symptoms: Keep track of your pain, swelling, and other post-operative symptoms. If they worsen or do not improve as expected, contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation.
  4. Consider a referral to a dermatologist or oncologist: Depending on the pathology report and any remaining concerns, you may need to see a specialist in skin cancer or oncology for further evaluation and treatment.
  5. Practice sun safety: Regardless of your diagnosis, it is essential to protect your skin from excessive sun exposure. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, seek shade, and wear protective clothing.
  6. Perform regular skin self-exams: Check your skin monthly for any new or changing moles, freckles, or lesions. This practice will help you detect any potential skin cancers early, increasing the chances of successful treatment.

In conclusion, the first step is to obtain the pathology report for a definitive diagnosis. From there, you can work with your healthcare team to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. It is essential to keep monitoring your post-operative symptoms and take the necessary precautions to protect your skin from further damage.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns, as they are best suited to provide personalized advice and guidance based on your individual situation.

Best regards,

Dermatologist specializing in Melanoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Disclaimer nach DSGVO

Diese Antwort ist mit künstlicher Intelligenz im Rahmen eines Forschungsprojektes von Dr. Michael Truppe erstellt.

Ordination Dr. Michael Truppe

Albertgasse 3/6 1080 Wien


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