PDA

View Full Version : General Skin Cancer Questions--Frustrated!


TheyCallMeRed
07-13-2005, 07:14 PM
I'm a 30 yo male, red headed, fair skin, with a fair amount of freckles.

About 9 years ago I had a small basal cell carcinoma removed from my shoulder. I watch and inspect my skin regularly, and every 6 mos or so I go to my primary care physician for a skin check-up. I've not been diagnosed with anything else.

I've been sunburned maybe a handful of times in different places since then, but I'm usually very cautious to avoid sun exposure or wear SPF 50 when I'm out (the burns have been from situations where I was out in the sun far longer than I expected I would be).

Anyway, last week I read an article on the web about the increased prevalance of melanomas which got me worried. I did some research online (I already knew generally about what to look for) and saw several web pages, some with memorials dedicated to melanoma victims. What shocked me was how young so many were and how quickly after diagnosis so many had died (though frankly, from some of the descriptions I read the patients had literally quarter-size suspicious growths).

This raised a question in my mind given my skin cancer exams. Oftentimes I point out spots to my doctor (darker or larger than usual freckles or two freckles of different shades adjoining each other--but never anything raised or dark, dark brown or black). The response is uniformly, "keep an eye on it."

Okay, so fine, I'll keep an eye on it. But what I see frequently on the web is that, by the time the cancer is obvious or a change in a mole has already happened, it is too late.

It left me with sort of a darned if you do darned if you don't approach. I can't have every last freckle cut out of my skin and if I wait for it to look really suspicious it will be too late!

Does anyone else worry like this? What is the happy medium here? The pictures I see on the web of this sort of thing always look very obviously cancerous to me and they look faily large. I would notice things like that. . .but would it be too late?

Mom22greatkids
07-14-2005, 03:04 PM
Good question. I am going through the same thing. I have some moles/freckles that are oddly shaped, some together, some with smaller dark spots. I have gone to three dermatologists and none seem to be concerned at all. I get the response "keep an eye on it" too. I did have a few very dark ones removed but only at my insistance. I have had waaaay too many sunburns in the past and I am concerned about all my moles. But like you said I can't cut every single one out. I just try my best doing self checks and go every year for a check.

Ga Lady
07-16-2005, 07:27 AM
I too am a redheaded fair skinned person with major sunburns in the past years of my younger life. I also had the days of what I considered 'vanity' and had to try out the tanning beds. Well, almost a week ago, I was diagnosed with Melanoma. I will be going for surgery the 20th of July. This place on my arm was NOT brown, or black or even what I would consider anything to worry about, it was pink. Pink! My drmatologisits told me it is a thin melanoma with a 90 to 97% chance that it hasn't spread. He is going in to remove tissue and to make sure all the melanoma is gone. I have been very anxious with this but have a greater sense of peace and faith now than at first. After talking with others who have had this and the extent of their growth I feel like mine has not went to those stages.I have what I consider abit of 'hypochondria' with ' this hurts' or why is this feeling 'this way' and on and on. But I am sure that is naural response. My philosophy is 'When in doubt, check it out!" So that is my experience with melanoma...not black or brown or discolored...Pink!

Kaco
07-16-2005, 11:29 AM
Along with my severe hypertension I have these spots to worry about. They seem to have popped up everywhere in the past year or so. The Doc wasn't worried but when I changed Docs the new one immediately prescribed Efudex(hope I spelled it right)and said they needed to come off. Have to use it for 3 weeks. It has been a week but I have seen little of the changes he warned me about. Slight redness has occured, not the stinging red variety I was warned about. Hope it works. Anyone else has experience with this cream for Atenic Keritosis?

TheyCallMeRed
07-18-2005, 05:18 PM
Well, almost a week ago, I was diagnosed with Melanoma. I will be going for surgery the 20th of July. This place on my arm was NOT brown, or black or even what I would consider anything to worry about, it was pink. Pink! My drmatologisits told me it is a thin melanoma with a 90 to 97% chance that it hasn't spread. He is going in to remove tissue and to make sure all the melanoma is gone. I have been very anxious with this but have a greater sense of peace and faith now than at first. After talking with others who have had this and the extent of their growth I feel like mine has not went to those stages.I have what I consider abit of 'hypochondria' with ' this hurts' or why is this feeling 'this way' and on and on. But I am sure that is naural response. My philosophy is 'When in doubt, check it out!" So that is my experience with melanoma...not black or brown or discolored...Pink!

Good luck!

Your post worries me, though. Pink? Wow. There are so many kinds of pink bumps. . .and I've never seen any pic of any melanoma that was just pink. They are always black, dark brown or really mottled looking.

How large was this spot and what else did it look like (if you don't mind answering)?

Ga Lady
07-19-2005, 06:01 AM
It was on the back of my arm, and I honestly don't know how long it had been there. I just noticed it one day while looking in the mirror and seen it. It was about the size of a pencil eraser (maybe a wee bit rounder than that) and the only sign it showed of the ABCD's was the border's not being even. But since it was pink, I never thought twice that it was melanoma, right before I finally went to the dermatologists office it had what I would call imflammation around it...Kinda of a redness around the spot. I go tomorrow for the excision and then it's wait another 10 days (hopefully they will get things back sooner) to see if I have clear margins. It's a thin melanoma, the superficial kind, whatever that means, it's not deeper than a (0.08)millimeter, but they are going to make sure with the excision tomorrow that it's all out of there. I am a red head like you Red and our spots are sometimes different than other spots. DO NOT GO TO A GENERAL PRATICIONER .........The last one said, " Ahh that's nothing!" If I had listened to him then ..well....You know!