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    clhennessy asked a questionSkin Cancer - Melanoma

    Checking Moles

    4 answers
    • Dick_K's Avatar
      Dick_K

      Hi clhennessy, So very sorry you have to ask this question but glad it sounds like your melanoma was caught early. It’s a little hard to tell the type of surgery you had from your posted journey. If it was a biopsy, be sure to get a copy of the report for your records. Check on and ask about your Clark and Breslow numbers; they will point toward possible additional surgery - a sentinel lymph node biopsy (SNLB) and a wide local excision (WLE).

      As to your mole question and with all due respect to AlizaMLS, be very wary of smartphone apps. There are a number of very current articles concerning the accuracy of these apps, in 2013 alone. JAMA Dermatology , January 16, 2013, calls out some concerns you need to be aware of.

      It’s good you are having three month follow-up intervals with your dermatologist. Follow the ABCDE rule and ask your dermatologist why there is no concern for certain moles that appear to meet the ABCDE criteria. If you choose to use a smartphone app, I would suggest not relying on it but, pictures of your body could help identify new or changing moles. Best of luck to you and try not to drive yourself crazy about your moles.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar
      Ydnar2xer

      Hi. My husband has melanoma and has only had one bad mole removed. It was found about 15 years ago and he hasn't had to have any other treatment other than lx yearly body check ups since then. Our mantra is, "When in doubt, point it out!" There is NOTHING wrong with having a doctor check moles that you may find suspicious. That ABC method is fine, but his initial cancerous mole did NOT fit into any of those ABC categories--I saw it on his back and was in doubt, so he pointed it out to his doc and sure enough, it was malignant. Good luck to you and good for you for taking good care of yourself!

      almost 4 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar
      Clyde

      Best thing is to get comfortable with your naked self in front of the mirror. At first, you will need to take a lot of time checking everything out, but as you get used to it, you will need less and less (We are mostly taught to fear or be ashamed of our bodies unless we look like a super model and the religious freaks who say we should keep covered at all times and never touch ourselves are very wrong about this. How many men died of ball cancer unnecessarily because they were afraid to touch themselves, women who even today won't self exam their breasts, etc., etc.?).

      Three months is a pretty safe time between dermo visits (it has to be a dermo, they are better trained to spot these things) so unless it is changing on a daily basis, you should be fine, but you have to keep an eye on things. And look in places you might not expect. Your scalp, behind your ears, underarms.....all those places we think the sun don't shine are just as liable to show change as the obvious ones. My tumor was a mole (mid-back) that I had had checked many, many times over the years, it always being dismissed as nothing to worry about so I wasn't as vigilant as I should have been when it started to change. My mistake. Every change is important. And even with 3 month visits, if you spot something, point it out. Drs are human and might not see it.

      almost 4 years ago
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    Decision Point (Choosing a surgeon): Since I am most comfortable with my family practitioner, I spoke with her about the treatment needed, and she referred me to a plastic surgeon, who is also a dermatologist. I met with him and decided to go with his services. Now, it's fingers crossed that the cancer has not spread and will be taken care of with the surgery!!

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    clhennessy shared an experience

    Procedure or Surgery (Simple removal surgery ): The pain in the location was present for a few days, but the biggest challenge was the location. It is in the center of my back, so I can't change the bandages myself. I'm also allergic to adhesive, so my skin was turning very red and irritated.

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