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Old 11-08-2003, 01:07 PM   #1
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Concern about dark specks in cauliflower mole.

I have a mole on my lower abdomen. (Yes, I am planning to have my dermatologist look at this week, but until then I was hoping to see if anyone's experience matches mine...)

I have had this mole my whole life as far as I can recall (I am male, 42 years old, good health). It is about 4 inches below and three inches to the left of my navel.

It's characteristics are as follows (I wish I could post a photo):

- NO changes in mole (size, itching, bleeding, pain)
- round
- symmetrical
- 6mm diameter (1/4 inch)
- sharp, even border
- cauliflower surface
- 'on a stalk', meaning it is broader on the top (6mm) than at the base, kind of like a 'mushroom cloud'. The overall depth of the mole from skin surface to top of mole is about 3mm.
- very even mid-brown coloration, except:

I noticed on very close inspection that within the dimples of the cauliflower surface there are three darker specks (not quite black). They looked to me like lint in the dimples, though further investigation with tweezers revealed they were not. One was protruding slightly, and with a slight tweeze, I extracted it. Upon extraction it appeared to me to be just like a blackhead, and there was extremely slight bleeding from where it was extracted (just like with some blackheads).

The reason I started looking closely at this mole was because my wife was just diagnosed with a patch of BCC. This is (by far) the largest mole on my body, so I've started to be more vigilant (and more worried since her diagnosis).

I have no history of extensive sun exposure (grew up in a very northern latitude) and no family history of melanoma. I've had a couple of smaller moles on stalks before (under arm, on shoulder) that actually just fell off on their own.

I don't have many moles, and the ones I have are quite small on the arms and legs. I've had two moles removed in my life. Both were benign, but the one removed from my lower leg a couple of years ago exhibited some 'atypical cells'. It was removed with clear margins and the doc told me it was nothing to worry about. That one was tiny, about 2mm. I have follicultitis and it looked to me like the coincidence of a small pimple and the mole, hence it itched, so I had it looked at.

Questions are as follows:

1) does this description sound like cause for concern? These specks may have been there forever for all I know.

2) can blackheads form inside a cauliflower shaped mole? Are there follicles in moles?

3) I realize that of the ABCD's of melanoma, I suppose this is 'C' and that on it's own is reason enough for a trip to the dermatologist?

4) what percentage of melanomas arise out of moles like this (cauliflower, stalk-shaped) vs. arising in flat, previously unpigmented skin.

5) do moles on stalks with a cauliflower appearance have a medical name? When I search the web for "cauliflower and moles" I get a lot of pages about rodent pests and vegetables!


Thanks in advance for any input/advice/opinions.

s-t[B]

 
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Old 11-08-2003, 01:25 PM   #2
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It doesn't sound serious to me. I read that moles on stalks benign. But for your own peace of mind get a doctor to look at it. Good luck.

 
Old 11-10-2003, 12:27 AM   #3
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Cool

Hi Sir-tainly
Loved the descriptions in your post & hope I'm forgiven for laughing at at the results of your search.

Try typing in skin tags, seborrheic keratosis or nevi (moles) - might lead you down a different track from veggies & rodents! The University of Iowa have a good dermatology photographic section too - not for the weak stomached folks though!

I had a mole which sounds a bit like yours, but the dark flecks turned out to be blood spots. I must've scratched it in my sleep. Had it removed as it itched & the lab report said benign.

Good luck & let us know how you got on at the dermatologist.

Lidia

 
Old 11-10-2003, 12:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lidiajamjar
Hi Sir-tainly
Try typing in skin tags, seborrheic keratosis or nevi (moles) - might lead you down a different track from veggies & rodents! The University of Iowa have a good dermatology photographic section too - not for the weak stomached folks though!
Thanks Lidia - I had already found some pictures of seborrheic keratoses on the web which look stunningly similar to my 'mole', specks and all. I've had this thing since at least my early 20s (so, over 20 years ago) - but most of the literature I've read said seborrheic keratoses are usually found in the much older (geriatric) population? I've also looked up skin tags, but the photos I've seen look nothing like my mole. Anyway, I guess the dermatologist will only know for sure!

s-t

 
Old 11-22-2003, 12:12 AM   #5
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Re: Concern about dark specks in cauliflower mole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lidiajamjar
I had a mole which sounds a bit like yours, but the dark flecks turned out to be blood spots. I must've scratched it in my sleep. Had it removed as it itched & the lab report said benign.
Went to the dermatologist today (actually took my wife in to have her BCC removed) and showed him this mole and one other on my leg that was VERY small but somewhat irregular in appearance. Anyway, he shaved both off and I'll get the results in about three weeks. He said on visual observation that neither appeared to be too concerning, but that the dark flecks did not appear to be blackheads either. My derma is very conservative - he seems to automatically remove and biopsy every mole presented to him! Fingers crossed...

 
Old 11-28-2003, 07:58 PM   #6
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Cool Re: Concern about dark specks in cauliflower mole.

Hi Sir-T
3 weeks seems quite a while to have to wait for results. From what you've said though, it really doesn't sound like there was any cause for urgency. Don't forget to post with the good news!

Lidia

 
Old 11-28-2003, 08:35 PM   #7
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Re: Concern about dark specks in cauliflower mole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lidiajamjar
Hi Sir-T
3 weeks seems quite a while to have to wait for results. From what you've said though, it really doesn't sound like there was any cause for urgency. Don't forget to post with the good news!

Lidia
The doc said 10 business days, from a Friday - and Thanksgiving in between... I guess that takes it into three weeks!

 
Old 11-29-2003, 01:24 AM   #8
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Re: Concern about dark specks in cauliflower mole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lidiajamjar
Hi Sir-T
3 weeks seems quite a while to have to wait for results. From what you've said though, it really doesn't sound like there was any cause for urgency. Don't forget to post with the good news!

Lidia
Lidia,

I saw from your other posts that you had a MM removed from your inner thigh. This is also where I just had a mole shave biopsied (at the same time the 'cauliflower' mole was removed). What size/appearance did your mole have to cause you to have it seen to?

My mole was small, about 3-4 mm across and Doc said it looked normal, but when the skin was stretched it was apparent that the pigment was slightly uneven... generally light brown but with a very small area of darker brown at one end.

I'm 42 and and I think that mole popped up sometime in my mid to late 30s. I know it's definitely been there at least two years with no change.

- s-t

 
Old 11-29-2003, 02:16 AM   #9
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Re: Concern about dark specks in cauliflower mole.

Hi Sir-T
The malignant mole I had removed was maybe around 10mm in diameter. It was light brown & a fairly regular shape. There was what looked to me like another darker, more irregular shaped mole on top. It partially covered the existing mole & partly onto my 'normal' skin area. Just like two moles overlapping each other.

My inner thigh wasn't exactly a place I examined regularly so I only noticed it one day while I was wearing shorts & had my legs crossed. I'd never noticed this mole before then so was immediately suspicious that there was something wrong with it. When I went to see my GP a few days later she also became interested in another mole at the front/top of my thigh. That one was pale brown & regular shaped but it had grown very rapidly - big enough to be noticed in a photo! That came off along with the mm but was benign. Strangely enough, I knew within myself what the results were before they came back. Just had a gut feeling that one was malignant & one wasn't.

I was so glad I noticed that mole when I did. I've absolutely no idea how long it had been there but it was spreading along the surface thankfully rather than going down the way & turned out to be only about 0.7mm thick. I consider myself very lucky.

Lidia

 
Old 12-02-2003, 04:39 PM   #10
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Re: Concern about dark specks in cauliflower mole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lidiajamjar
Hi Sir-T
Don't forget to post with the good news!

Lidia
Well, I guess it's good news. I called the derma today and my results had just come in. The receptionist simply said "no further treatment required". I asked if the results were benign, and she simply repeated "no further treatment required." So, I'm left hanging a bit until they post me the pathology results. Could mean benign; or atypical cells present, but margins were clear. My guess if it was anything more serious she would have put me on with the Doctor... I feel embarassed to call again for more clarification so I'll just wait for the path report to be mailed to me.

S-T

 
Old 12-03-2003, 03:11 PM   #11
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Cool Re: Concern about dark specks in cauliflower mole.

[QUOTE=sir-tainly]Well, I guess it's good news. I called the derma today and my results had just come in. The receptionist simply said "no further treatment required". I asked if the results were benign, and she simply repeated "no further treatment required." So, I'm left hanging a bit until they post me the pathology results. Could mean benign; or atypical cells present, but margins were clear. My guess if it was anything more serious she would have put me on with the Doctor... I feel embarassed to call again for more clarification so I'll just wait for the path report to be mailed to me.

Hi Sir-T
Well it does sound like good news but you could use a few more details huh?


Those receptionists must be the same the world over (their main duty seems to be to prevent the patient from getting anywhere near the doctor!). You reminded me of something which happened to me some years ago. I had gone to the doctor for a blood test to find out levels of antibody for hepatitis B. I was working in a job which required vaccination protection against HepB & after the jab had been given they used to tell me what the blood levels were & how long, in years, it was estimated to last. Anyhow, I phoned for the result & was told "It's normal" so I replied "Yes but I need to know what the levels are?" "Don't worry, everything is normal" came her reassuring reply. AARGH!

I think you're right in saying that if it was anything to worry about you'd have been talking to a doctor. Hope it'll all be more reassuring once you get the report. Over here (UK) they don't send the report out. You either just have to accept the 'normal' verdict of the receptionist or make an appointment to see a doctor.

Lidia

 
Old 12-03-2003, 04:21 PM   #12
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Re: Concern about dark specks in cauliflower mole.

[QUOTE=lidiajamjar]
Quote:
Originally Posted by sir-tainly
I think you're right in saying that if it was anything to worry about you'd have been talking to a doctor. Hope it'll all be more reassuring once you get the report. Over here (UK) they don't send the report out. You either just have to accept the 'normal' verdict of the receptionist or make an appointment to see a doctor.

Lidia
My dermatologist doesn't send the actual path report - they have a form in the practice with check boxes that range from benign to malignant, with various stages and instructions inbetween. The one I had last year had "no further treatment required" as instructions next to a) benign or b) benign with atypical cells. All other choices stated further follow-up required, etc., so I am just deducing that all is well until they mail me their form.

And I agree about receptionists! I lived in the UK for ten years and the US medical profession seems markedly different. There seems to be such fear here about lawsuits, that everyone tries to say as little as possible - and the rush to biopsy everything rather than make a value judgement seems unique here too. But perhaps it's just my experience.

- s-t

 
Old 12-06-2003, 10:36 PM   #13
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Re: Concern about dark specks in cauliflower mole.

[QUOTE=lidiajamjar]
Quote:
Originally Posted by sir-tainly
Hi Sir-T
Well it does sound like good news but you could use a few more details huh?


Lidia
Hi Lidia

Finally received the dermatologists report in the mail today. Both moles were completely benign. So, two less things to worry about! Just goes to show you that even things that look weird aren't always a problem - and vice versa I presume...

Best
s-t

 
Old 12-07-2003, 03:42 PM   #14
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Re: Concern about dark specks in cauliflower mole.

[QUOTE=sir-tainly]Hi Lidia

Both moles were completely benign.

Hi Sir-T
Good news indeed! Last one I had removed did all the things that indicated malignancy - increased in size, itched, bled etc. but was absolutely fine. The malignant one did absolutely nothing that I noticed, didn't even itch so I'd actually realise it was growing there.

Glad to read your good news.

Lidia

 
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