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View Full Version : possible melanoma... DR Appt questions


athenapink
02-06-2009, 07:28 AM
First, I have many risk factors for possible skin cancer. Many blistering sunburns in childhood. Pale, and inability to tan. I spent the first 16 years of my life just constantly burning and peeling. I have spent the rest of my life to this point sunblocked and under an umbrella.....but the damage unfortunately has already been done. As such I am pretty aware of the marks, moles and freckles that I have. I have tried to stay aware.

This summer I found a new freckle on the underside/side of my big toe. I was a little surprised, but figured I just had a new freckle. It was small brown and well freckle like. Fast forward, it is now the first of feb., I was in the shower and just turned my foot in such a way that I caught a glance of this "freckle" my heart instantly sank as soon as I saw it.

It is no longer a freckle...it has spread in an odd fish like shape. It is about 6 times the size it was. Not very large but bigger than the little freckle it was. It is brown, tan, and has a black area on one side. Next to the "now enlarged freckle" is a black dot.

I cant remember this summer when I noticed the freckle but it could have been up to 6-9 months ago. I tried to make an appt to see my Primary care doc (military) I let the appt. lady know this was not for a routine check, that I had found something worriesome. Still she scheduled me for a month out. I could not get her to schedule a semi urgent appt. (within 3 days) for me.

I am really scared, it will take a month to see the doc and then another week or so until it is referred to the surgeon and then scheduled for removal. I know melanoma can be cured if it is early enough and I guess i am afraid that waiting so long could affect how "early" this will be considered.

I see my doc and surgeon around base from time to time, and I feel like ripping off my shoe like a crazy person and saying LOOK at This!

Should I be concerned, is a month or so going to affect this outcome considerably? Is this a normal appt. timeline for a suspect spot or would I not be out of line to take it to the patient advocate for a sooner appt.

Anyway, it may not be melanoma or anything serious but it has all the abcd's and with my risk factors, including the fact that the worst and last blistering sunburn I ever had was on this foot (jelly sandals, out on a lake literally fried that foot) Thank you, any answer is appreciated.

Chele60
02-09-2009, 11:55 AM
First, I want to correct something you stated. There is no cure for melanoma, even at the earliest stages. There is only treatment. The prognosis is very good when melanoma is treated early, and the survival rate is very high. But there is no cure. Yeah. I'm a stickler for that sort of thing.

Now, on to what matters to you. This would greatly concern me as well, and you are doing the right thing but attempting to see a doctor ASAP! I obviously cannot say what the growth is on your toe, but treating melanoma on the foot is not a comfortable experience. Hopefully (crossing fingers here), what you have is simply a mole.

Normally, I would say a month shouldn't matter all that much and you should be okay. And that's probably the case here as well. While melanoma can be aggressive, the growth pattern is typically that it grows along the surface first, then it begins to grow down into the epidermis. So a month...not much difference, really. However, this is a toe, where you don't really have that much skin. I'm kind of torn, really. From what you describe, the change seems to have happened fairly quickly, and it seems an odd shape, color. If you have the option of petitioning or using some other avenue to try to be seen earlier, I would probably utilize it. When you made the appointment, did convey the reason for the appointment was the possibility of melanoma? Sometimes this can spur an earlier appointment. And then, sometimes not.

I do want to mention that normally with a diagnosis of melanoma, things usually move really quickly. So while it may take a while to get an initial appointment, if there is melanoma, an appointment with a surgeon usually happens really fast. But then, let's hope it really is just a funky little mole.

Keep in touch and let us know how it goes!

MrsChen
03-03-2009, 01:51 PM
Hi, I'm sorry your doctors our slow to get you an appt. I was Diangnosed with Malignet
Malenoma in 2003 I was afraid to tell my doctor, my doctor after I waited a few months sent me to an Oncologist / Dermotolgist and was giving a bioposy, where two moles where positive, I was only a stage 1, but it is cureable if caught in time.
they just cut out the mole, if test positive they go back in and cut more out to make sure that cancer is removed and that is all the treatment you will need.
most moles will turn Black, your's is brown so may not be. But it is best to get it looked at, as you said it looks bigger. Be safe and tell your doctor you need an appt ASAP one month wont hurt to wait, but if they can take you in sooner that would be better.
Malenoma is proably one of the easiest cancer to treat if caught in time.
Good Luck to you..
I've been Cancer Free from Malenoma for 6 years.
Paula

Rockford2
03-03-2009, 06:36 PM
Is there or is there not, a CURE for melanoma if caught early? I'm confused.

MrsChen
03-03-2009, 07:04 PM
Is there or is there not, a CURE for melanoma if caught early? I'm confused.

Yes there is a cure for Melanoma I had it and I dont any more.
If caught at an early stage it can be cured.
I was a stage 1 there are 4 stages 4 is the worst possible stage.
Dont let anyone tell you there is no cure, at an early stage,
because there is,.
Do you know what stage you our??
I know at stage 4 is not good, and not sure doctors can help.
But early stage is very Hopeful.. There is No Chemo, and you wont lose
your hair. they only cut out the mole.

The onclolgist will do a biopsey, to see if it is positive for cancer,
if positive you will go back to your oncologist (Dermotoligist) and they will
take more skin from where you tested positive. if at an early stage.

If your doctor is telling you no cure....at an early stage, get a new doctor
immediately. you need to get a referal to a new oncologist.

Hang in there and keep a positive additude
**********.
Paula

Oleander53
03-04-2009, 05:55 AM
I would insist on an earlier appointment. You are probably fine but the key is to catch it early and the facts are melamona can be on the bottom of the foot. Call every few days and remind them that you would like to be put in if any cancellations. And YES take your shoe off and show your Doctor friends, it may get you in earlier. :D

Many people get one melanoma and never have another one.

My Dad lived to 94 with 6 melanomas.......all caught early. So get it checked as soon as possible. Try not to stress... be proactive.

Love, Oleander

Chele60
03-04-2009, 11:34 AM
Cutting out melanoma is as much a "cure" as a mastectomy is a "cure" for breast cancer.

Yes, it removes the immediate cancer risk, and will probably remove the entire tumor in the earliest stages. However, this is a treatment, not a cure. Removing the melanoma before it has spread - as in the earliest stages - does provide for the greatest prognosis. Yet, if simply cutting it out were all that simple, there would be no need for ongoing appointments with dermatologists or lifelong skin checks or sun safety. After all once "cured" forever "cured." It doesn't work that way.

Many people have the idea that one gest melanoma, they simply get it cut out, and all is good for the rest of their lives. No worries. This may be in part why melanoma has not received the attention it should, IMO.

MrsChen
03-04-2009, 01:58 PM
Cutting out melanoma is as much a "cure" as a mastectomy is a "cure" for breast cancer.

Yes, it removes the immediate cancer risk, and will probably remove the entire tumor in the earliest stages. However, this is a treatment, not a cure. Removing the melanoma before it has spread - as in the earliest stages - does provide for the greatest prognosis. Yet, if simply cutting it out were all that simple, there would be no need for ongoing appointments with dermatologists or lifelong skin checks or sun safety. After all once "cured" forever "cured." It doesn't work that way.

Many people have the idea that one gest melanoma, they simply get it cut out, and all is good for the rest of their lives. No worries. This may be in part why melanoma has not received the attention it should, IMO.

Hi I did have Meliginant Melanoma in 2003 to moles tested positive, and I did have to go to get skin cheked 4 times a year for two years and then 2 times a year after that..My doctor told me my skin will only be check if I see any changes I went to the Melanoma Center at UCSF. I check my skin everyday.
I do however avoid the sun, where long sleves, and hats when I go out in the sun.
as I sunburned when I was younger always laying out.
I have been Cancer free for 6 years.:)
if you wait until your a stage 4 there is not much the doctors can do for you.
for the cancer can spread like wildfire.
My husband about a year ago was diganosied with Thyroid Cancer his cancer was caught at an early stage and he is fine. NOW doctors told him only come back to check his thyroid meds.
Lance Armstrong is doing great he was my Inspiration. Have you ever had Melanoma.???

Chele60
03-04-2009, 02:26 PM
I was diagnosed with melanoma in February 2007, stage IB. I had a WLE in March 2007.

I'm glad that you have been cancer-free for that last 6 years, and hope you will continue to be! :)

MrsChen
03-04-2009, 06:50 PM
Hi Chele60
I am sorry you where diagnosed with Melanoma. I dont know what IB is or firmilary with what WLE is. I hope you our doing well..
I wish all the best.
MrsChen