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Large ALM on heel sole, left untreated for long

Forums General Melanoma Community Large ALM on heel sole, left untreated for long

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      Hello to this great community, I’m new here and sharing my dad’s story.

      He is 57years old and was just diagnosed with melanoma last week. I’m trying to gather information for him, while also processing and dealing with the news myself.

      He remembers having a dark spot on his heel for at least a year, it could be more. It’s only now that he’s realised it’s growing and changing in size that he shared with me and we immediately sought advice from a onco dermatologist who was certain it’s melanoma without even needing to wait for the tests to come back (not a good sign!). A few days later he had a wide local excision and we’re now waiting for results to confirm the stage and progression.

      I’ve read so much about “early detection” and can’t help but feel like leaving such a large spot (7cm x 7cm – most of the sole of his heel really) untreated for such a long time (1year +) can’t be good. Wondering how long others believe they’ve had theirs before having it checked? When they say early detection, on average how quickly people have any spots or moles checked? Is there a chance it won’t have metastasized given the size and time past? I’ve also still not come across in forums of anyone with such a large affected area, so would really appreciate any advice or personal stories that can shed more light.

      I know acral melanoma is super rare, but I remain hopeful to find some people who have gone through the same to share their thoughts. Equally, I’m happy to share info and photos with anyone who might be in a similar situation.

      Thank you and sending positive thoughts to anyone who needs it today x

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          My aunt Ruth had melanoma on a toe. At that time surgery was the only effective treatment for melanoma. Today we have immunotherapy.

            I had a ALM on my left heal as well. It was 2.1mm deep non ulcerated. The day of my surgery they also did a lymph node maping. Along with the excision they removed 4 lymph nodes from my groin and 3 of the 4 contained melanoma I was sent for my first of many brain MRI and Pet/Ct scans that came back clean the margins had been cleared so stage 3b. I had a full thickness skin graft on my heel the wound was about a tennis balls width, and was out of work for almost 3 months unable to walk on the foot.
            They tested the melanoma prior to treatment which was supposed to be immunotherapy but it came back braf positive and I was put on targeted therapy (taf/mek. This journey began 2018 and although the physical scares have healed the mental ones have not it’s always on my mind.

              I had a mole on the bottom of my foot since I was a baby. It started to change in shape and end, started to itch pretty bad in 2017…and in August 2018 about a year later I was diagnosed. I had four lymph nodes removed and two of the four had cancer cells. I had surgery to remove the cancer in my foot, they basically took all of my tissue out of my foot and took several months to recover. I did immunotherapy for a year and have been okay this far. Recently, I found a lump in my leg, so I am going for an MRI next week and hoping it is not recurrence. You’re more than welcome to contact me if you have any questions for me. Good luck!
                In general the depth of the lesion is more critical than the diameter. But usually the larger the diameter the greater the likelihood it has penetrated beneath the top layer of skin and into where it can more easily spread. I could throw more technical lingo at you, but that should come from his doctor. ALM is less common but not all that rare. Surgery to remove the lesion is just the first step. This is just the beginning of his melanoma journey. If he agrees you may want to go to his appointments and participate in his care. And emotional support will be important in his journey!
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