Yep. Ditzels are a thing!! Incidentals found during routine radiologic studies. I've found gall stones, sparkly doo dads in my thyroid, and uterine fibroids...all of which were doing me NO HARM...in the process of years of scans and surveys to follow my melanoma. Alternatively, a routine chest x-ray in 2010 (of all simple things) revealed a lesion within the right main bronchus of my lung that no one could believe was melanoma for months - until it was finally biopsied via a bronchoscopy. Then there's the funny looking, "probably mucoid", appendix that showed up on my final melanoma scans in August that turned out to be ex-goblet cell carcinoma (GCC)!!!! And I am not alone...
False-Positive Results and Incidental Findings with Annual CT or PET/CT Surveillance in Asymptomatic Patients with Resected Stage III Melanoma. Nijhuis, Dieng, Khanna, et al. Ann Surg Oncol. 2019 Mar 25.
So, yeah. Right now, with imaging being the preferred method of follow-up for melanoma peeps, at least half of us will experience findings that will have to be investigated (to some extent) that will NOT be melanoma! DO NOT FREAK OUT!!! Unfortunately, this is to be expected. Still, we must be diligent and pursue needed answers when weird things show up. All the more reason for putting blood assays that test for melanoma specifically and tangentially into practice sooner rather than later!!! Here's the latest on that front (with a zillion links within) posted just last month: Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA)
Hang tough melanoma peeps! Ours is not an easy path. But, it is one that we can not only walk down, but run through!!! - c