Malignant melanoma on heel

After lots of delays have now been diagnosed with a malignant melanoma to the heel which has Breslan depth of 8.5 mm.  Waiting for wide excision, plastic surgery and sentinel lymph biopsy.  They will be cutting quite a lot out of my heel.  

It was not a typical mole - no colour at all etc.  It began from a small freckle.  Just a lump that grew.  This may explain why the dermatologist did not request a biopsy over a year ago.  I understand that the diagnosis may be difficult and on occasion a melanoma can mimic a clear cell sarcoma. After all the missed opportunities to avoid the treatment I want to be certain I that nothing is missed.    

I have had scans to torso and head and these appear OK.  I cannot understand why scan to the legs generally and the foot  in particular were not requested to inform the surgeons ahead of surgery.  Is this normal? 

I have also read about a FISH test.    Would there be any merit in this being done?  My consultant is on holiday and really must stop looking on the internet!

  • Hi Albobs

    Thanks for getting in touch with us. My name is  Tricia and I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurses on the Macmillan Support Line.

     I am sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis of a malignant melanoma to the heel. This must have come as quite a shock and its understandable that you want to ensure that all avenues of diagnosis and treatment is covered. As you mentioned you did not have such typical signs and symptoms  but it will help that you have a diagnosis now and can start your treatment.

    Its good that you have a plan for your wide local incision and plastic surgery  and  sentinel lymph node biopsy .

    The scans are usually carried out to check that there isn’t any evidence of spread elsewhere and they would usually do this as part of the diagnosis prior to your treatment. Your case would have been discussed  at a  MDT (multidisciplinary team) meeting with a resulting decision on a plan for diagnostic tests and treatment plan for you as an individual.

     FISH testing is used to find out more specific information about cancer types through blood tests or tissue. They can be used to help Drs make decisions on treatment. It might be an idea to discuss this with your consultant at some point to see if this will be carried out routinely on your tissue post- operatively.

    It is difficult to know how much to read online as it may or may not be helpful. If you do feel you need more information there is the Melanoma Focus Charity or  Macmillan Cancer Support or Cancer Research UK.

    Our booklet  Ask about your cancer treatment  can help to prepare any further questions you have for your Consultant or team.

    I hope this is helpful. Please don’t hesitate to get back in touch at any time.

    Sending best wishes,


    Macmillan Cancer Information Nurse Specialist

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email

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