View Full Version : I have a few areas of concern. Looking for opinions.

12-12-2008, 11:07 AM
I 1st off would like to start out by saying I have a lot of moles. They are all various shapes, colors and sizes. I also have a birthmark which covers almost my entire right leg, buttock and back. It causes swelling in my right leg which causes discomfort when I am on my feet a lot.
Anyway my 1st area of concern is a place on my back. I guess it appeared somewhere back around June or so of this yr. I at 1st had no clue that it was a mole. We had problems with fleas biting us when we would go outside that I assume were coming from the neighbors dog who stayed in a fenced in back yard. My back had been itching like crazy for about a week, the whole time me thinking oh it's just a flea bite. Anyway I decided to have my husband look at it one night because as I said it had been itching for a week. He tells me it is a mole, but that it is a dark purple color. None of the other moles I have are that color. They are all beige, brown or reddish. It has gotten a little larger since then and it still itches off and on. The 2nd area of concern is my right ear. I have had this small knot in it for around 2 yr's now. I have always thought it was a pimple, and I've even tried mashing it before. When I did that it would bleed yet the purple blackhead looking place is still there. I came across the story of a 30something yr old woman who had died from melanoma, and the 1st melanoma she noticed was a knot in her ear. She too thought it was a pimple, but like mine hers never went away.
I also have this dark brown mole on my leg and directly above it is a knot. It like my ear does not hurt when I push down on it at all. I also have a pea sized knot on my right jaw area and it has been there for a good yr now. It seems to only be noticeable to me later in the day or 1st thing in the morning. It doesn't hurt at all, but I can roll it around. I thought maybe it was because I had an issue with my wisdom tooth before, but the pea sized knot is still there and my tooth hasn't been bothering me at all.
I have NO ins. at all. My husband was laid off from his job due to our economy. I made an appt. at a local health clinic, BUT they are not specialists. I want more than anything to see a Dr. who knows about skin cancers and melanomas, but they all want payment when you see them. I seriously feel that if you are poor and have no ins. that the medical profession feels as if you are unworthy of proper medical care. Does anyone else feel that way? Skin cancer runs in my Dads family. My Grandfather had a melanoma stage 0 I believe, and my Aunt had basal cell a couple of yr's back.
I am in Ga and would love to find a Dr. here(a dermatologist) who will see me knowing I can't pay but very little. You can't get medicaid here if you make over $400 a month unless you have breast or cervical cancer. I did go to a free skin cancer screening back in Oct. Even they said I need to have the spots checked, but they didn't give me any idea what type of skin cancer they felt they could possibly be. Now I can't afford to see a Dr. I can go to this clinic, BUT if they want me to see a specialist I am stuck in the same boat not being able to afford to see one. All I can think of is I have kids, and just what if those spots are possible melanomas? Melanoma can be deadly if not caught early,and as I said I know that knot on my ear has been there for several yr's.The spot on my back since late Spring. Oh there is also a small purple spot which has come up on one of my toes this yr too.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and opinions as well. Perhaps some melanoma survivors could reply to me, and tell me how they found theirs and if my spots seem similar at all. I know we are not dr's here, and I know I need to see one. I am just looking for advice and opinions, because I don't know what else to do.

12-12-2008, 07:34 PM
Hi there - first of all I want to say that I know what it is to not have insurance. I did not have insurance and when I got insurance is when I was diagnosed with the melanoma.

I do not know much about clinics where you are, but ANY doctor can do a biopsy. And although it may not be ideal to have a doctor there do a biopsy - it would be better than nothing at all.

It is a very sad situation in this country when you do not have insurance. Here in CA there are different types of things you can apply for. And if I were you, I would apply for anything that I could at this time to get it started. I think if you have children, you can apply for a medical plan that is minimal monthly payments. Like I said that is here in CA but it stands to reason that most states will have something similar.

Go to your local social services office and see what you can get. But in the meantime, you can ask the clinic to do the biopsy for you. I wish you the best. :)

12-24-2008, 10:41 AM
I'm not sure if you will see this, but I'm curious as to whether you've had a chance to visit the clinic about these concerns? I am a stage IB Melanoma survivor, and the item that stands out for me is the itchy mole on your back. That should at least be biopsied, IMO.

The item on the ear should be looked at, and I'm no doctor, but I doubt it's melanoma. Melanomas on the head and neck are extremely aggressive, and after 2 years there would be other symptoms, I'm thinking. But then, what do I know?

The "knot" on your leg and jaw? I'm not sure, but those don't really sound like cancers to me, either. Still, if you are in anyway concerned, have some one check them out. I do realize that without insurance medical expenses are through the roof! However, the majority of time these biopsies turn out to reveal no cancer. And, if cancer is there, the alternative is far worse that expense medical bills. Very often clinics or social services (through your county) can help you locate physicians that will take patients who have limited/no funds.

Good luck!