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    7 Spots Melanoma May Be Hiding

    Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., and melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Although it accounts for just 2% of all skin cancers, melanoma causes the most deaths from skin cancer. Melanomas, like other skin cancers, are most treatable when caught at their earliest stages before the cancer has spread.1,2

    Exposure to UV light, whether by the sun or in tanning beds, is a major risk factor for melanoma, so it may come as no surprise that melanomas are often found on the parts of the body that get direct sun, like the face, arms, and legs. However, there are some less obvious places where melanoma may be hiding, including:

    Melanoma can develop under fingernails or toenails. Women who frequently get gel manicures, which are hardened with UV lamps, may be at increased risk. Because melanoma can hide under nails, it’s important to remove any nail polish before your doctor checks your skin.

    You may think the scalp is only a target for melanoma for people who are bald or have thinning hair, but in fact, melanoma can hide even under those with long tresses. The American Cancer Society recommends using a comb and hairdryer to part hair and inspect the scalp.

    Feet and toes
    Don’t forget to check your feet, including the soles of the feet and in between the toes. Melanoma can occur on these surfaces of the skin.

    Ears are another location melanoma may appear, including on the pinna (the large fleshy part) or the space between the ear and the scalp.

    Melanoma can even show up in places where the sun doesn’t shine, like the crease between the buttocks. Use a hand mirror to check for any unusual spots.

    The eyelids can be vulnerable to melanoma, too. Before going for a check-up with your doctor, remove any makeup that might camouflage suspicious spots.

    Behind a tattoo
    Some people get tattoos to cover moles or birthmarks, however, the ink can make it more difficult to spot melanomas. Tattoo ink does not increase a person’s risk of melanoma, but removal of the tattoo with laser devices can be problematic if a melanoma is hiding beneath the ink.3-5

    What to look for: the ABCDE’s
    Many people have heard they should look for the ABCDE’s of skin cancer. As a review, it stands for:

    A – Asymmetrical shape, like moles that are irregular or not symmetrical
    B – Border, moles that have an unclear or unusual border
    C – Color, especially the presence of more than one color in a mole
    D – Diameter, moles that are larger than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser)
    E – Evolution, which involves any changes to a mole over time6
    The American Cancer Society recommends getting regular skin checks by a doctor, like a dermatologist who specializes in skin conditions, as well as performing monthly self-checks. Self-examinations are best conducted in a well-lit room and in front of a mirror. In addition, a hand mirror is needed to view some areas of the body, or you can ask a loved one to help.2

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    A message for all my fighters here at WhatNext. Your GOOD is stronger than any BAD day! Have a good one today!

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    Lundmusik wrote on UpandUp's wall

    You said you were diagnosed five years ago? Or newly diagnosed?

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    UpandUp asked a questionSkin Cancer - Melanoma

    For anyone that has tried to find a Dermatologist that would know about skin cancer

    15 answers
    • geekling's Avatar

      Actually, it gets worse. Of the 4 derms qith whom I consulted, 2 were male. Neither asked me to disrobe completely. I was so thoroughly disgusted with the first that I decided the exam was over. As I stood up from the exam table the %$!#/€£ grabbed under my boob. He mumbled that he had to check there too. Yes his nursie was in the room. I was pretty well incensed but said nothing as I motioned him away so I could put on my outerwear. When I got the copay bill, I phoned the office and said that if I ever heard from the office again, I would report him, not only to the local board but to the police as well. I havent heard from him.

      The story doesnt actually end there. It similarly repeated with the second male doctor who was even worse. Unconcerned about my feet (shoes & socks left on) but so damnation concerned about my breasts. What made this 2nd one worse was that not only did he want to be led to my "area of concern" when I clearly stated I wanted a complete skin check but, unlike the first one, this one came in with photos and graphs which had zero to do with me because "He went to medical school and knew his stuff."

      Do these doctors have swiveling heads that can turn 360 degrees and see their own backs?

      The 3rd doctor wanted me to agree to allow procedures before she decided what they were. I refused. She said I could always change my mind later. I did not wait to change my mind. I left.

      And I met a reasonable woman in the 4th doctor who had me disrobe and then explained where she wanted to check and asked permission to examine each area. Lol, I relaxed and she found the spot of squamous on my shin. My shin was exposed to all 4 docs.

      I also have found that full extract pot oil acts like skin bleach. It can, in three cases on my skin, completely bleach out skin spots which raised the hackles of my new derm. Now I have her point out her spots of concern, thank her, leave to treat them and then return to her exam room for another look see. So far, no more biopsies needed (knock on wood) and I hacmve a couple of light spots to compliment the dark spots which have developed.

      Aint life grand?

      6 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I have a spot that I should have looked at. I'm starting to be paranoid about everything that I find any more.

      5 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Just a test post, nothing to see here....

      5 months ago