The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content within the patient forum is user-generated and has not been reviewed by medical professionals. Other sections of the Melanoma Research Foundation website include information that has been reviewed by medical professionals as appropriate. All medical decisions should be made in consultation with your doctor or other qualified medical professional.


View Profile



Hello. My husband was recently diagnosed with Stage IIIb melanoma. He had a round pink, normal appearing mole which had not changed on his mid right back. I encouraged him to have it removed and he finally did.
Dermatology had no concerns about it so he did a shallow shave biopsy. The call came in a few days later that it was melanoma.
My heart sunk. Being a PA I knew just enough about melanoma to be scared to death. All I could think about was how deadly it can be.
Of course the call came in at 5:00 on a Friday and my husband hung up with the Derm with very little information other than “you need to schedule a wide excision with lymph node biopsy ASAP, have a good day”
Monday I was able to get more information. Shave biopsy showed 0.8mm depth, at least, it said.
Two weeks later we went to general surgery discussed the plan. He did a pre-op chest xray and labs with surgery scheduled for the next day.
Right before they took him back the surgeon brought me into the consult room saying there were two small (3mm and 6mm) nodules on his lungs. recommended PET scan ASAP.
Surgery went well, he removed 2cm around the lesion. PET scan was 3 days later. Finally, 5 days later path report showed a Breslow depth of 1mm and no lymph node involvement, but there was a small 0.6mm microsatellite lesion in the skin. Mitotic index <1/mm2. Margins were widely clear. PET scan was also clear.

He is technical y cancer free at this point, but I know the risk for spread is great. I am also aware that it may have already spread microscopically within the blood stream. I'm assuming this is why they are recommending treatment.
We met with the oncologist who told us the options for treatment. These included, watch and wait, Interferon, try to get into a clinical trial or be referred to the University of Colorado Melanoma center for biochemo.
She did absolutely nothing to explain his stage of melanoma to us and appeared annoyed at my questions and concerns.
I was very unhappy with the visit and have since 'fired' that ocologist and have a second opinion scheduled next week.
We are currently part of Kaiser Permanente, an HMO in colorado and are required to see their oncologists. I have asked to be referred to the University of Colorado Melanoma Center, but there are a lot of hoops we need to jump through to get there.

I am very nervous about his prognosis and was hoping to connect with other who may have positive stories about themselves or their loved ones in similar situations.
My husband is 45 and otherwise very healthy. We just had a new baby and also have a 4 year old son.
Thank you for taking the time to read my profile!

Display Name


I am

the patient's wife

Initial Diagnosis Month


Initial Diagnosis Year


Stage at Diagnosis

Stage 3

Current Stage

Stage 3