This week, with my annotations, I tried to pay attention to varying shapes and sizes of nuclei and where the concentration was higher and where it was lower, relative to other slides I have annotated. I still don’t have any conclusive data, but my advisors are telling me to keep going, saying that every single annotation is leading to something bigger.
This week I’ll delve a little deeper into what stage 1 of Melanoma is like. The TNM staging system is used to identify characteristics of cells, with T standing for tumor, N standing for node, and M for metastasis. The T value represents the size of the tumor, while the N value is indicative of the presence of cancer cells in the lymph nodes, and the M value is representative of the spread of the cancer through the body. Stage 1 is broken down into two substages: stage 1A and stage 1B. The characteristics of stage 1A melanoma are that the melanoma thickness is under 1mm, there is no ulceration, and the mitotic rate (number of cells dividing in a given quantity of tissue) is less than 1/mm (squared). The characteristics of stage 1B melanoma can be any of the following: the melanoma thickness is still under 1mm, but there is ulceration of the skin, the mitotic rate is at least 1/mm (squared), or that the size is 1 to 2mm with no ulceration.
In the meanwhile, I’m continuing my work with the slides, and just annotating them and sending them to my advisor as I go. I look forward to finding some solid patterns either this week or next!
“Melanoma Skin Cancer.” Stage 1 | Melanoma | Cancer Research UK, 12 Nov. 2015, www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/melanoma/stages-types/stage-1.