4 Atypical Moles

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4 Atypical Moles

by Lisalj on Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:00 AM

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I'd like to try and get a perspective on my situation. I am a middle aged, fair skin woman who has spent a lot of time in the sun. I live in the Northeast so most of the time I have not been tan but have taken a lot of vacations to the beach and have a swimming pool. I used to try to tan (never did the tanning bed thing) but now I use high sun screens when I swim. I still get some color though because I spend a lot of time outdoors gardening etc. Melanoma does not run in my family but the elderly members on my Irish English side have pretty much all had basil cell cancers etc.

So that is my backround.

I have dysplastic Nevi and have has 4 atypical moles removed over the last 10 years. All were mild except one that was mild to moderately atypical.

How serious is this situation? Can you help me get a perspective? My Dermatologist acts pretty blase about it but does say to use high sun screens etc.

I would appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks

RE: 4 Atypical Moles

by Runabout on Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:00 AM

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Just like all cancers, we just don't know enough about Melanoma to be certain about any part of it - including the causes of Melanoma.  My husband was an avid fisherman, owning our own boat for offshore fishing.  We live in the country, and stay out doors quite a bit with maintaining such a life style.  However - his Melanoma was located on the underside of his arm.  A place there rarely sees the sun.  He also has three additional moles where they are watching closely - those are located on his torso.  My husband NEVER EVER goes anywhere with out a shirt...EVER.  Therefore - I don't think it was the sun that caused the Melanoma.  Does the sun increase the chances of Melanoma?  Yes.  If you never go out in the sun are you safe from Melanoma?  No.

My husband has many family members who have died from various cancers.  Could cancer be a genetic factor?  Could be.  Nothing is ever certain about cancer, nothing.

Having said that - your survival rate increases dramatically when Melanoma is caught early.  Continue being vigilant about check ups. Use sun screen.  And did I say be vigilant about check ups?  If you are concerned about something new, get it checked.  Make regular appointments with a dermatologist - not a primary care physician.     

RE: 4 Atypical Moles

by Lisalj on Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:00 AM

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Yes of course I go for regular check ups and tray and be safe outdoors.

I guess what I am wondering is how rare or common is it to have had 4 atypical moles? Is this unheard of or common?

 I just want to try and understand the gravity of this. I will use caution either way.

I hope I make sense. :-)

RE: 4 Atypical Moles

by clintandmelinda on Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:00 AM

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Did you get a pathologist to study the moles removed?  If so and they were negative then it isn't serious yet.  Your diligence is the way to go.  Keep getting check ups.  You may insist a mole removed and analyzed.  Skin cancer (esp. melanoma) is nasty stuff if not caugh early enough.  People survive it more than ever now because it is caught sooner.  Keep doing what you are doing.

RE: 4 Atypical Moles

by clintandmelinda on Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:00 AM

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Also, family history means little.  Sorry, but all people should keep an eye on their skin.  I have read that as many as 1 in 50 will get Melanoma in their life.  When you think about it, those aren't long odds at all if correct.  No family history in my wifes family but she is now stage for and having the middle lobe of her right lung removed.  We (the family including Mom, myself, etc.) complained about the growing mole on her back for a couple years or so.  That she should get checked and maybe removed.  She didn't think it was a big deal and finally went in a couple months after it was ulcerated.  Had I known how serious it was I would have scheduled the appointment for her when we first noticed it changing.  Less than 10% of people in her current situation (multiple distant metastis) survive.  Hind site is worthless, you are doing well.  Pass the word.

RE: 4 Atypical Moles

by Lisalj on Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:00 AM

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Did you get a pathologist to study the moles removed? 

Yes I couldn't know they were atypical without being biopsied.

RE: 4 Atypical Moles

by Lisalj on Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:00 AM

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I am very sorry about your Mother. I am a believer in prayer so I will say a prayer for her.

That is really tough.

RE: 4 Atypical Moles

by YaYaTara on Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:00 AM

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On 6/19/2008 Runabout wrote:

Just like all cancers, we just don't know enough about Melanoma to be certain about any part of it - including the causes of Melanoma.  My husband was an avid fisherman, owning our own boat for offshore fishing.  We live in the country, and stay out doors quite a bit with maintaining such a life style.  However - his Melanoma was located on the underside of his arm.  A place there rarely sees the sun.  He also has three additional moles where they are watching closely - those are located on his torso.  My husband NEVER EVER goes anywhere with out a shirt...EVER.  Therefore - I don't think it was the sun that caused the Melanoma.  Does the sun increase the chances of Melanoma?  Yes.  If you never go out in the sun are you safe from Melanoma?  No.

My husband has many family members who have died from various cancers.  Could cancer be a genetic factor?  Could be.  Nothing is ever certain about cancer, nothing.

Having said that - your survival rate increases dramatically when Melanoma is caught early.  Continue being vigilant about check ups. Use sun screen.  And did I say be vigilant about check ups?  If you are concerned about something new, get it checked.  Make regular appointments with a dermatologist - not a primary care physician.     


My oncologist and dermatologist agree with you that the sun doesn't always cause melanoma.  I have had 3 melanomas.  They were not changing moles, but just lumps that raised up under my skin.  They told a friend of mine who went to MD Anderson that they "remover more melanomas where the sun don't shine and it can develop internally."  I think that if people think they are safe because they have not been in the sun or had sunburns----they are mistaken.  I have dark hair, dark eyes and dark skin (Italiano).  I do not have a lot of moles.  My sister had melanoma in her 20's.   The doctor I saw at Sloan-Kettering told me it could be genetic.  Thank you!   Tara

 

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