View Full Version : I think I have melanoma but I cant afford to see a dermatologist Please help!

07-26-2009, 12:26 AM
Please help, I think I have melanoma but I cant afford to see a dermatologist. :(

I'm 21 years old, I have brown eyes, brown hair and I'm half white half american indian. I have had a mole on my under arm near the armpit all my life, but recently I have read all the dangers of skin cancer and I've become unbelievably paranoid - to the point where I am constantly picking and squeezing at my mole causing it to get tender swollen and hurt. But I can't tell if its just getting bigger and worse because I touch it all day, or if it is something serious. It is and has always been elevated. I cannot afford to see a doctor or dermatologist and I was denied health insurance. *sigh* Please tell me what you think!

Please respond I'm desperate!

07-26-2009, 06:05 AM
Hi Mandilynne, Im not a doc but i do have many moles on my body and have too become paranoid in the past. I have them everywhere, some small and some very large - they are in my family. I have also picked a few and made them bleed and scabby and i know its easy to say, but try not to - even if u have to put a plaster over it. When i had a few removed i was told that the signs to look for is when the mole no longer circular and kind of breaks/leaks out of its circular edges. It doesnt matter if it is raised or not (as i have many raised, but they are still circular).Also be aware of the colour. Has it changed?

I assume you are from the USA as you say you have to pay to see a dermatologist, but are you able to see just a normal doctor at a local medical centre or at a hospital - just so they can put your mind at rest.

All i can advise is that if you are really concerned about it being cancerous,then see any doctor you can as the earlier it can be dealt with (if cancerous) then the better the outcome.

Good luck.:)

07-26-2009, 07:07 AM
A mole you've had all your life that hasn't changed is not melanoma. Any doctor can look at it for you. It doesn't have to be a dermatologist.

07-27-2009, 01:37 AM
I am not able to see ANY doctor. In USA everything costs money. Sigh... :(

And I said that the mole has changed - its gotten bigger and more puffy, I'm just not sure if it got bigger and puffy because I am constantly picking pulling and squeezing at it.
It is still round shaped.

07-27-2009, 09:09 AM
Hello and welcome!

First, allow me to put things in perspective: while melanoma is one of the most aggressive and deadly of all skin cancers, it is also one of the most rare. Melanoma also appears to strike people who either have a genetic link (inherited from some one in their family), or most likely people who are fair-skinned, blond/red-haired, lots of moles. Now, this isn't case in stone, so it is important for all individuals to practice sun safety.

It is also important to keep in mind the A, B, C, D, E's of melanoma. These can provide a guideline to follow. They are:

A - asymetrical (a mole that is odd-shaped, not round)

B - borders that are jagged or undefined

C - color that is black, or has white, blue, or red in the center (this one I missed)

D - dimension that is larger than 1/4" - the size of a pencil eraser, approx

E - evolving or changing in size, shape, color, or beginning to bleed or itch

Melanoma can develop from an existing mole or can grow from a newly developed mole. However, if it's from an existing mole, the mole must change on its own. Picking at the mole until it bleeds, or becomes tender and swells, does not mean it's melanoma. If I were to take any piece of skin, and start picking at it, it will become tender, sore, swollen, and may even bleed. It doesn't mean anything other than I've been picking at it and the skin is reacting to that. Stop yourself from picking at this mole, let the skin heal, and then watch the mole. Once the skin is back to normal, does the mole display any of the above characteristics? If not, then you probably have a simple mole. If you notice one or more of the above characteristics, then you will want to have it checked out. As far as not having insurance, there are some doctors who might be willing to work with you as far as payment. You might also check with your County Health Dept. There might be options there for you as far as clinics you might be able to go to. After all, you would just need to have some one look at this, if the above characteristics are shown. Treatment is something else.

Other things to consider: how much time do you spend out in the sun? Do you utilize tanning salons? Would you say you have a lot of moles (more than 100)? Have you ever suffered a major sunburn? If you answered "yes" to these questions, you may (MAY - just something to consider) want to consider sun safety. Using sun screen/sun block, not using tanning salons, protecting your skin from future risk and damage is always a good idea. But it's up to you to consider the facts and weigh the options and see what you want to do.

From what you say here, it doesn't sound like you have melanoma, and it doesn't sound as if you have currently have something that might be a problem. However, it is good that you are thinking about the dangers the sun's UVA/UVB rays can do to your skin! You are a WHOLE LOT smarter at 21 than I was, that's for sure!!

09-17-2009, 09:40 AM
A nurse at a specialist mole clinic in the UK told me that simple damage to a mole CANNOT cause it to become cancerous. But I think long term repeated damage to any part of skin is dangerous, so you must stop messing with it. Keep a plaster on at all times till it is better.