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Skin Cancer

Cancer Wound Not Healing

12/09/2008

Question:

I had melanoma removed from my inside calf of my leg in late June. the wound took a long time to close, cracked open and oozed alot. sometimes is irrated. this weekend the wound bled a tiny bit. I am due to see the doctor this next week. Should this occur? What could be the cause of the lengthy healing process?

Answer:

Since melanoma can be a very dangerous cancer it is surgically removed with large margins which may leave a very large wound. There is not much extra skin on the leg and repair may be difficult. In addition it is usually difficult for people to stay off or there legs as much as needed after surgery. My point is given the probably size of the surgery and the location of the surgery it is not uncommon to have long healing times. The most important thing is regular follow-up with the physician who performed the surgery until it has completely healed. In addition you will require lifelong follow up with a dermatologist who should check your skin on a regular basis.

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Response by:

Jeremy S Bordeaux, MD, MPH Jeremy S Bordeaux, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Dermatology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University