NGUYEN: Hi, sir. How are you?
NGUYEN: It’s good to see you again.
PATIENT: Yeah, same here.
NGUYEN: So this is my corpsman who’s going to be working with us today.
NGUYEN: And I’d like to go over with you what the diagnosis was and what we will be doing.
NGUYEN: Is that OK?
NGUYEN: So when we biopsied this lesion, it was a melanoma. So melanoma is from long-term sun damage, and it’s cancer of the pigment cells. The good news is that it was a very early melanoma, so we look at a certain depth — it was less than .75 millimeters. We’re going to take a one-centimeter margin around the whole thing, so when we take it out, you’ll end up with a scar probably about four to five centimeters long. Alright, sir, you ready to rock and roll?
PATIENT: Yes, ma’am.
NGUYEN: I actually just want to cut down to the subcutaneous fat, so I know that that’s exactly where I want to hit, and that’s as far as I need to go — go to cut this melanoma out. Mr. Gordon, you’re doing great. So we have the skin cancer out, so now we’re going to run all the edges with my corpsman and just make sure all the pinpoint bleeding is done, so this is where we have the teamwork. That’s what’s great about the Military, is you use their leadership to train the people to help you. It makes my day overall a lot less hectic and more efficient. Perfect. At this point I’m very happy, I’m not concerned that this is going to rip at all. Today I was able to cut out a melanoma, which, luckily it was a very early, thin melanoma, but if left for another year, it could have quickly gotten a lot thicker and metastasized and the patient could have died within a couple of months.
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