A 66-year-old male asked:
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why can't my dr. find the source of the melanoma? i've had numerous pet and cat scans.

3 doctor answers
Dr. Ed Kaplan
Dr. Ed Kaplan answered
38 years experience Hematology and Oncology
Source?: I'm not sure what you mean. Melanoma is usually diagnosed on the skin...And the source is the skin. From your question, it sounds like it spread and must have been detected in an organ or bone or brain. Ct scans and pet scans are helful at following the disease but not perfect and can miss many small tumors.
Answered on May 2, 2013
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Dr. Sameer Gupta
17 years experience Medical Oncology
Depends: Typically a thorough dermatology eval is recommended- sometimes the primary may remain occult.
Answered on Sep 10, 2013
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Dr. Travis Kidner
16 years experience Surgical Oncology
Unknown primary: It is possible that your body has completely fought off the primary skin lesion and now it is gone. Patient with unknown primaries while are not common do occur.
Answered on Sep 28, 2016
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Dr. Denis Winder
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Information: Pet scan is not an absolute diagnostic tool. It depends on how it is done and by whom. False negatives are a definite problem with the test.
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Location?: Where is the positive site of activity on the pet scan? Is it in a site that could be easily biopsied? Could be unrelated to the melanoma.
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