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Friday, April 14th, 2006

Oh No, Not Again

To quote a bowl of petunias.

A couple of days ago, I was at work, slouched in my chair, scratching my chest, when I felt something that wasn’t supposed to be there. There was a lump in the fatty tissue over my right pectoral muscle – an area I cannot help but describe as my breast.

Normally, I wouldn’t be so concerned that this might be a metastasis of my old melanoma, because it’s not an area that I was lead to expect a metastasis would appear. I was under the impression that it would be more likely to happen in a blood-rich organ, such as the brain, lungs, liver, or so forth, and I just had a PET scan last October that said I was free of any sign of hypermetabolism. But that was six months ago, and I have a family history of breast cancer – maternal grandmother and an aunt – and a local tv personality here in San Diego just recently had a well-publicized case of male breast cancer. So I took the uncharacteristic step of actually going to see my doctor about it in less than a week.

My oncologist, Dr. Jurgen Kogler, a staid German gentleman, confirmed that there really was something there. He wants to check it out thoroughly. His words were guarded – he didn’t give any indication as to whether he thought it was more likely to be a melanoma metastasis, a completely different case of breast cancer, or merely some sort of benign growth. But his body language said differently. Normally calm and reserved, he practically paced around the examination room, and I could tell he was concerned. I got blood drawn right away, I have a consult with a surgeon tomorrow morning, and I’m scheduled for another PET scan for Monday morning.

Hopefully, this will turn out to be nothing important. My research indicates that melanoma metastasizing to the breast is very rare – I found one study of eight patients, all women, with a median time from original diagnosis to discovery of 62 months. It’s been 66 for me. And one case of it occurring in a man. So it behooves me to go through the various tests and wait for something definitive rather than worrying, but I did learned one thing – if it is melanoma, I have awfully dismal odds of living another five years.

I’ll be reporting further as I learn more.

Posted by Greg in Melanoma, Posts About Me


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2 Responses to “Oh No, Not Again”

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