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    Old 11-29-2004, 02:45 AM   #1
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    Arrow possible biopsy questions: melanoma

    Alright, so here's my situation.

    About four or five years ago, I got this freckle on the bottom of my heel, a bit off towards the side. It grew quickly, within a few months, and it's slightly misshaped and the color is brown, but not all that consistant. It's about 1/4 inches in length but hasn't grown larger than that since it originally developed.

    I have a freckle on the palm my hand, but it's not at all abnormal or mishaped, but I figured my heel as well would be a weird place to be a freckle (b/c the lack of sun exposure.) Especially with the contours of a foot, the way the skin is so thick underneath that it would be probable for a freckle to spread out like that.

    This semester I went ot school in Australia, and you know how they're big on skin cancer here... I saw an article in a magazine with pictures of melanoma, and it looks kind of like the freckle on my heel.

    I'm prone to sunburns, but cancer doesn't run in my family. It never occured to me that it could be cancer because for starters, it's on an area of my body that NEVER sees the sun. I also developed this when I was about 15, now I'm 20.

    I know the best advice is to get a biopsy, but what happens? Is it technically surgery, where they numb me up and cut me open on a table? Or can it be done on a doctor's checkup? How deep into it do they cut?

    Also, I've had this for about five years already, what happens if I do nothing? Has it already been there long enough for it to be too late, has it already spread? How long does it take to spread? Is age 15 too early to get cancer, when I've always been perfectly healthy? What happens if it's already spread, what kind of treatments would I have to go through?

    If it has spread, what other physical symptoms could I now possibly be facing?

    I ask this because I'm a bit jittery, it's an issue that never had occured to me until recently. Skin cancer, or any cancer - it's just a scary term that I never thought could happen to me...

    ... of course it could also be nothing, but in any case I would like your words of experience on the issue.

    Thank you.

    Last edited by kem2cdm; 11-29-2004 at 02:48 AM.

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    Old 11-29-2004, 06:18 AM   #2
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    Re: possible biopsy questions: melanoma

    Hi Kem,

    I too had a mole (or freckle) close to the same area. I had it for about 4 years. Though, it was small at one point, it started growing about 1-2 years ago and then finally kept the same size for a while.
    I did go to a dermatologist, who told me not to worry about it.

    Just few weeks ago I went to another doctor (the freckle looked too close to the magazine pictures of melanoma), though I did not feel anything wrong nor it changed sizes again.
    The doctor did a biopsy and it was indeed melanoma.
    Though I had that freckle for years, the melanoma is 'in situ' or in its early stages.
    I was very fortunate that way.

    So... to answer to your questions, it is never too late to have it checked out.
    I also do not fit the profile... have brown eyes, brown skin, brown hair, never sun burn, and no history of cancer in my family... (or maybe I am adopted! hehe).
    So... hurry and have it checked out.
    When I went to the doctor, he did a biopsy the same day.
    He removed about 1/2" diameter or skin and though I can't tolerate pain, it was painless. It took about a week for me to get the results.

    Now, since mine was actually melanoma, they will have to remove more skin around that area to make sure that they get it all out.
    Hopefully, it will happen this week.

    So... don't worry... just be careful with the sun mean while (use sun block and avoid being out under the sun)... it anything, it will make you feel more pro-active.
    But, make an appointment as soon as possible, so you can know what is going on and what you need to do (if anything).
    I also had another freckle that got removed about 1 year ago (about 1/4" dia)... and the results came out as negative.

    Keep us updated on how it goes with the doctor.


    Old 11-29-2004, 06:48 PM   #3
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    Re: possible biopsy questions: melanoma

    Thank you so much for your response.

    Another question: did you have to get local anesthetic when you got it done? How deep do they cut into it? Any stitches involved?

    Thank you.

    Old 11-30-2004, 05:10 PM   #4
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    Re: possible biopsy questions: melanoma

    The doctor gives you a shot or two in the area to be biopsyed. Then he takes a small shave of skin to get off the freckle. He puts on a bandaid and you are on your way! If it does come back positive then he would do the same but take a deeper cut with you possibly needing stitches.

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