I'm 17. I've always had this suspicious mole near my right armpit, I could have had it since I was a kid or at birth I'm not sure, but it's about 1cm in size, and it's light brown but kind of lumpy with with darker dots on it, the sides are jagged and kind of fade out.
It's more like a cluster of freckles than a single mole, it sounds and looks just like melanoma but I've had it for as long as I can remember, and since I was 12 it still looks exactly the same, it's just like normal skin and nothing unusual has happened to it. I have lots of other moles but they're quite normal and only a few could be cancerous.
I tried to get my mum to take me to get it looked at when I was younger and she said going to the dermatologist is really expensive. It's a 2 hour drive to get to a bigger city where there are clinics and it would cost a lot, so my mum never let me go. So even though I was scared for a while I had to try to ignore it, since melanoma is rare for under 18s I figured I would survive until I could go and get checked myself, but I'm still flat broke.
I want to get a mole map and have tests done on any suspicious moles, but how can I do this with no money and no means of getting to a dermatologist?
If it's any consolation to you, melanoma is a particular aggressive and fairly quick growing cancer. So, if the mole you are speaking of were cancerous has been there for 5 years and hasn't changed, chances are it probably isn't cancerous. However, having it checked out is a very good idea. Barring that, keeping an eye on it yourself would be a given.
I'm so sorry to hear that the idea of getting to a dermatologist is cost prohibitive. That seems all to familiar for so many people. Perhaps once you are on your own, your financial situation might change?
As far as mole mapping, this isn't always something dermatologists will do for every patient. Mole mapping - at least clinically - can be very expensive and is usually done when there is a need. i.e. a person has already has an instance of melanoma. However, this doesn't mean you can't do an amatuer mole mapping. You will need to have a friend or family member help you, but it might be beneficial in the long run. All you will need is a digital camera with a good resolution, a steady hand, and objects to assist with determining size. Take the largest moles, or those that are most concerning to you, and make certain you have the best light possible. Try to get the best measurement - either will millimeters or small objects, such as paper clips or coins - and set them near the mole. Take as close a picture as possible, in as clear a focus as possible. Save these pictures, with the date taken. This would be a "baseline." Make certain you clearly identify where the moles are located on your body. You can leave it as a baseline, or take more pictures a year later, 5 years, 10 years, whatever. Or, if you think something has changed. Make certain, when re-taking the pictures, you use the exact same measuring device to get as accurate a measurment as possible.
Depending on how many moles you are concerned about, this can take quite a bit of time. However, it can give you some peace of mind, and, in the case a mole should change, you can actually show a doctor in what way a mole might have change and over what period of time.
Thanks! That's very helpful, well all my moles have been there for ages, no suspicious ones have popped up and none have changed. That being said I always have an eye on them and I'd notice any changes.