Re: What happens if you burn off a mole??
I am so sorry to hear about your father. What a devastating situation to contend with! My own father passed away due to complications of prostate cancer in November 1991, and I know how tough it can be.
unfortunately, your father's story is not all that uncommon when it comes to melanoma. This beast is extremely aggressive and is one of the toughest cancers to fight. Back in 1994, when your father first had this mole looked at and it was determined to be atypical (usually the term used for moles that could become cancerous), did the doctor do an actual biopsy? I'm asking, because normally if there is a biopsy done, the mole is not "burned off" or "frozen off." At least, not that I'm aware of. Also, did the doctor indicate to your father the need for any further check-ups? If the mole was atypical, and the result of a biopsy negative, the doctor may have felt there was no need for any follow-up.
When the mole returned, did your father say if he noticed anything odd about it? Size? Shape? Color? It is not uncommon for people, who have had a mole removed and receive a clean bill of health, to dismiss any further lesions. Some people become overly cautious, and have doctors check out every mole and freckle. Others will state the doctor said they were okay, and anything else that appears is simply "nothing to be concerned about."
However, and this is very important, did the doctors in August state the mole that had returned was what is called a "primary?" This means, basically, where melanoma starts. If the mole that returned was indeed melanoma, that would be terrible. YET! There are times when a person can be diagnosed with stage IV melanoma, and the primary is never found. When my melanoma was diagnosed, my doctor shared with me that a gentleman had been in just before me with odd symptoms. When tests were conducted, it was discovered he had stage IV melanoma, but there was no primary. Unfortunately, it was very advanced, and nothing could be done. That is how scary this beast is.
I know when a loved one passes from cancer we often want to try to figure out if there was any way it could have been detected early and treated. And I'm thinking this is what you are searching for. Unfortunately, in your father's case, it very well might not have, and I know that can be unbearable to hear. Your father may have taken every precaution, may have visited a dermatologist every year faithfully for skin checks, and the end result could still have been the same. And I am so profoundly sorry for that.
For you, though, this should be cause to take positive action. Having a parent who has passed from melanoma puts you at greater risk. Using sunscreen, practicing sun safety, and getting regular skin checks with a dermatologist should now be high on your priority list.
Again, I am so sorry for the loss of your father at this time, and my prayers to you and your family for peace and comfort at this most difficult time.