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Old 10-20-2009, 10:41 PM   #1
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Nicci57 HB User
Really needing some advice...

Hi,

I am a 23 year old with very pale skin and quite a few moles. My grandmother died in her 40s from melanoma and I have an uncle who had skin cancer (not melanoma). I am worried about a raised mole that I have on my hip (it's been there for all or most of my life). I don't think I paid much attention to it when I was younger, so I am not sure if this is a new development, but I think that it is. The mole seems to have unpigmented little "bubbles" in the midst of it. (The majority of the mole is medium brown). There is also an unpigmented part that is around the top edge of the mole that seems to make it more asymmetrical looking. I really don't think that it has always been there but I am unsure. There also seem to be specks of darker brown within this mole as well. It just doesn't look right to me.

I went to a dermatologist a few months ago, and the guy literally just glanced at it and said that he didn't think it was a concern and that he was "95% accurate with his diagnoses". That means that 5% of his patients really do have cancer and he tells them not to worry about it. In any case, this doctor really did not reassure me whatsoever. I just wanted to know if the unpigmented parts are a normal sign of melanoma?? I want to go see my actual physician soon, but I don't want to feel like I'm making a big deal out of nothing. Does anybody have any thoughts or advice??

Thanks,

Nicci

 
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:00 AM   #2
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Oleander53 HB UserOleander53 HB UserOleander53 HB User
Re: Really needing some advice...

Nicci,

When you have 2 blood relatives with skin cancer you are at risk. It does not mean you will have it but your risk is higher. Remind the Dermatologist of your Grandma and Uncle.

Get to another Dermatologist for a check up. Hopefully it is nothing.

I have 3 blood relatives with skin cancer, 2 with melanoma. I recently have had 6 different skin cancers taken off in the last year. One on my arm I kept showing to my Doctor and he kept saying " it does not look like anything". Another Derm took it off and it was a large Basal cell. Ask them to please take a good close look at this and remind them there has been changes to your mole recently.

Good luck.......Oleander

 
Old 12-11-2009, 08:15 PM   #3
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lilly26123 HB User
Re: Really needing some advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicci57 View Post
Hi,

I am a 23 year old with very pale skin and quite a few moles. My grandmother died in her 40s from melanoma and I have an uncle who had skin cancer (not melanoma). I am worried about a raised mole that I have on my hip (it's been there for all or most of my life). I don't think I paid much attention to it when I was younger, so I am not sure if this is a new development, but I think that it is. The mole seems to have unpigmented little "bubbles" in the midst of it. (The majority of the mole is medium brown). There is also an unpigmented part that is around the top edge of the mole that seems to make it more asymmetrical looking. I really don't think that it has always been there but I am unsure. There also seem to be specks of darker brown within this mole as well. It just doesn't look right to me.

I went to a dermatologist a few months ago, and the guy literally just glanced at it and said that he didn't think it was a concern and that he was "95% accurate with his diagnoses". That means that 5% of his patients really do have cancer and he tells them not to worry about it. In any case, this doctor really did not reassure me whatsoever. I just wanted to know if the unpigmented parts are a normal sign of melanoma?? I want to go see my actual physician soon, but I don't want to feel like I'm making a big deal out of nothing. Does anybody have any thoughts or advice??

Thanks,

Nicci
It's better to be safe than sorry. I would go and have the mole checked out by a dermatologist.

 
Old 12-11-2009, 08:53 PM   #4
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Nicci57 HB User
Re: Really needing some advice...

I went to a different dermatologist and this Doctor was a million times better. He decided to remove 3 moles and I'm still waiting on the results:/:/

 
Old 12-15-2009, 04:41 AM   #5
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Howie63 HB User
Re: Really needing some advice...

Hi Nicci,

Glad to hear you had the moles removed. My philosophy is "gone is good". Just a comment on family history. It is my understanding that family history is generally restricted to your parents, not grand parents or uncles and aunts.

If one of your parents had melanoma I believe that you would have approx a 50% greater possibilty of contracting the disease than the normal population.

My mother died of melanoma and I had a an in-situ about 10 years ago. My sister has no moles whatsoever. I go the dermatolgist every six months. That's my decision not necessarily the recommended interval. The skin is a huge area to examine. So after the dermatogist looks you over you must tell them about any specific moles or lesions you are concerned about.

Howie63

 
Old 12-16-2009, 09:23 AM   #6
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Chele60 HB UserChele60 HB UserChele60 HB UserChele60 HB UserChele60 HB UserChele60 HB User
Re: Really needing some advice...

Hi Nicci,

I was diagnosed with stage I melanoma in February 2007, and I understand how scary it can be when you see moles that seem out of the ordinary. To give credit to the first dermatologist you saw, something on your skin doesn't necessarily have be "either or," when it comes to mole/melanoma. There are many types of skin disorders besides skin cancer - it's just that most of us think the worse. When the doctor told you he has a 95% accuracy rate, I doubt he meant he was proud about having let 5% of his patients slip by with cancer. (Although there might have been a small percentage who did)

I am also a very firm believer that if there is something on your skin that you just don't feel "right" about, you should have every right to have it removed. You live in your skin, and really, no one knows it as you do. It is a fact that most skin cancers are initially discovered by the patient, not doctors. This comes from patients simply knowing - and seeing - their skin every day. Good for you that you had the moles removed! Most likely they are nothing to worry about, but at least they are gone.

As to family connections, Howie63 is correct. When it comes to melanoma, the concern is in relation to blood relatives: parents, siblings, children. Extended family members, such as grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins are interesting to take note of, but really bear no concern. The reason? Well, there are two factors that potentially play into melanoma: genetics and environment.

Immediate blood relatives have a relatively clean gene pool. When it comes to extended family, the gene pool has become "cluttered" to the point where too many other factors and variables come into play. Immediate blood relatives also share in the same environment - spending time out of doors engaged in activities, beliefs regarding sunscreen, moving to areas where the sun is more intense. Extended family may have a different lifestye: spending less time out of doors, perhaps using sunscreen, or living in areas where the sun is less intense. BTW, melanoma is not the only cancer that is concerned with only immediate family. Breast cancer is another one, and there are several others. As the gene pool becomes more "cluttered," one's chances of acquiring cancer from genetic sources becomes less and less.

If you've familarized yourself with the A B C D E's of melanoma, this about covers what to look for. However, there are times when melanoma does exactly what melanoma wants to do, and it looks nothing as it is supposed to. I had 3 moles that I swore were potentially melanoma, they fit all the signs of melanoma, insisted on having them removed, and the biopsy came back normal. The melanoma I evenutally was diagnosed with had none of the characteristics of melanoma that I could see, yet...there ya go! I've learned from my experience that, if you don't feel right about something, insist it be removed and biopsied. It's your body, it's your life. I've met far too many people who believed doctors when they said "It's nothing," or ignored their gut instincts, and now they are in their graves. It's worth it to be persistent!

 
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