Malignant Melanoma

by Surama
(Kolkata, India)

In the year 1994, my father had a black coloration beneath the nail and had slight oozing from it.

The doctors in a renowned hospital detected it as a fungal infection and removed the nail bed. It again recurred and biopsy was done.

Mohs surgical technique is considered to be the best treatment in skin cancer surgery. This was adapted and the different layers of skin was removed and seen under the microscope.

As a major portion was removed finally the anterior portion of the big toe was amputated. Everything was normal though there was slight skin discoloration in that particular area.

The area started ulcerating again in March 2009. I took him to a surgical oncologist who upon having a look at the wound detected it as melanoma.

Biopsy was done and it came out to be malignant melanoma. Confirmatory test with HMB was done. As the thickness was more than 4mm the doctors decided to go for isolated limb perfusion technique.

The operation took nearly 14 hrs as the two fingers of the toe were amputated along with the removal of lymph nodes from the polpliteal fossa region and the inguinal region.

This was done by melphalan injection. The surgery was successful and the scar took some time to heal. So plastic surgery was done to fill up the gap.

The complication now is that there is lymphadenopathy and sometimes the muscles of the legs become very taut and rigid. He has been taking chemotherapy tablets since the last 6 months and is going for regular checkups.

It is very important to know that the melanoma if detected at an early stage is curable but the doctors here could always conclude it as a non specific ulceration.

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