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Melanoma scare...

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Anyone know anything or had experiences with melanoma?

My girlfriend used to go tanning a lot. She's stopped for about 4 months now but recently went to the doctor and he scared the living shit out of her. She has two barely noticable moles on the chest, I would say about half the size of an eraser on the back of a pencil. Meanwhile the two moles showed up about a year ago. He told her they have 3 out of the 5 signs of melanoma, but failed to detail what the 5 signs were.

How common is this and what are the odds they could be malignant?

Any advice or input would be appreciated. I've googled it and researched but I want personal input. Thanks in advance.
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #2 of 29
I've got a spiffy >1" diameter circular scar on my right calf from a melanoma being removed. It wasn't a big deal, but after growing in the desert, as a redhead, and spending most years from May through Oct as walking blister, well... I suspect I'm going to have a lot more of them in the coming years.

If she's worried, have them removed. Pretty simple. They anesthetize it, core it out, and stitch it up. I had to have a second paring so they could be sure they got all the cells on the edges, but other than looking I was attacked by an amorous cephalopod, no big deal, IMO. Catch it early, deal with it quickly, and let it go.
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post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Does the size of the mole matter? As in the bigger the worse?
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post

Anyone know anything or had experiences with melanoma?

My girlfriend used to go tanning a lot. She's stopped for about 4 months now but recently went to the doctor and he scared the living shit out of her. She has two barely noticable moles on the chest, I would say about half the size of an eraser on the back of a pencil. Meanwhile the two moles showed up about a year ago. He told her they have 3 out of the 5 signs of melanoma, but failed to detail what the 5 signs were.

How common is this and what are the odds they could be malignant?

Any advice or input would be appreciated. I've googled it and researched but I want personal input. Thanks in advance.


Well, I show 3 out of the 5 signs of intelligence, so what does that tell you?

Looks like a duck. Quacks like a duck. Too bad it's a decoy.

Seriously, I think I read something (read: I know I read something) about a drug that kills almost all forms of cancer, and is otherwise safe. Don't remember what it's used for, but it's been getting a lot of attention recently as a possible 'cure'.
A Conclusion is the place where you get tired of thinking. - Lesicus Stupidicus
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A Conclusion is the place where you get tired of thinking. - Lesicus Stupidicus
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post #5 of 29
Quote:
How common is this and what are the odds they could be malignant?

the size is less important than the rate at which it has appeared or changed.

If the edge of the melanoma is irregular and it's change is irregular or tethered to a structure beneath the skin, then it isn't good news. If the surface is lumpy that's really bad news.

In England at least, doctors move away from statistical probability and use their clinical skill to diagnose a condition. Unfortunately any dermatologists that I've ever known are pretty much hopeless when it comes to recognising how anxiety-provoking it can be for a young person to be fed information such as 'you've got 3 of 5 symptoms required for malignant melanoma'. Sure - there may be a period of diagnostic uncertainty, however to pass it glibly (?) like that to a client is very raw and unprocessed, if not unhelpful.

It's about time she stopped going tanning anyhow. Doesn't she like the way she is? Or is that why anxiety takes root...?

Good luck and caveat emptor when it comes to AI advice on specialist medical topics!
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post

Does the size of the mole matter? As in the bigger the worse?

From my knowledge of biology I would say that size does not necessarily matter. What matters is whether or not those cells are cancerous to begin with and then whether they are malignant or benign. However, if the mole is larger, because there are more cells, there is naturally a greater chance for a type of cancer and a greater chance that it will be malignant. Those of you with more knowledge feel free to correct me.
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post #7 of 29
M'aimes-tu?

That's right - more or less. Tumour cells multiply logorithmically in growth over time, which means that early detection is very difficult. Reiterating - the size is less important than the rate of change of the 'mole'.

The location of the mole is also very crucial. Moles close to lympathic drainage and/or blood vessels have a worse prognostic outcome.

Biopsy would be sensible, although nowadays, small clinic surgery excision by a local GP is well reasonable.
Referral to a specialist dermatologist is a better option provided there's no NHS hospital wait of around 2 years...
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post


It's about time she stopped going tanning anyhow. Doesn't she like the way she is? Or is that why anxiety takes root...?

Good luck and caveat emptor when it comes to AI advice on specialist medical topics!

Well, I mean, she's 22. Almost all over her friends tan and it's kind of a cultural thing here at the college. I know it's not right to say, "Well everybody's doing it!" But, whatever. That's basically the bottom line.

I also kind of blame myself. Part of her tanning can be attributed to me since I used to get mad at her for smelling like Cocoa Butter and looking like an Oompa Loompa with the fake tanning cream she used. It only increased her trips to the tanning salon. Nevertheless, she's done going to the tanning salons. Which is good since she didn't need it anyways. She's full Mexican.

I wasn't really looking for advice, I may have worded my post wrong. I was looking for more or less experiences on the subject. Even in the first 15 minutes you all have been extremely helpful. (As was expected. )
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #9 of 29
Oops. it's probably just me being harsh about kids who want to look pretty according to everyone else's expectations. I'm not fond of girls who tan too much - I think they've not been spending enough time in the library then!

Ok - experiences on the subject. My nephew had a birth mole since, er, birth which we were all a bit worried about. It was big! The doctors always told his parents to watch it and leave it alone, bring him back if it changes.

Eventually (he's now 12) it changed 2 years ago and he had it excised. Because it started growing bigger, it meant he had a scar (called 'keloid tissue').

I had always preferred for him to have it cut when he was a baby, but that wasn't acceptable by his GP, because of NHS resources yada yada yada. It would've left a smaller scar.
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post

M'aimes-tu? ....

Yes, just after I had posted I realized you had said essentially the same thing, only better and more accurate.

Since you're looking for more personal experiences I can give one. Almost a year ago my grandmother had a similar scare with some possibly cancerous skin on her face. The hypochondriac that she is though, blew it way out of proportion. She thought that she was going to die. All she had to do was watch it for a few weeks and look for quick change or discoloration. There was a little bit of growth and she ended up having it removed. Other than her whining about death for about a month, it was all fine.
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"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!" ~ Vroomfondel
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post #11 of 29
Crikes - it's a bad time to be a hypochondriac!

Although is there ever a good time to be one?

It always recalls T-Bone Burnett's words in his album 'The Criminal under my own hat' -

"the frightening thing is not living
the frightening thing is not dying"


What is it then (I used to ask?)
It's been stuck in a life, neither living (authentically) nor being dead.
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post

Oops. it's probably just me being harsh about kids who want to look pretty according to everyone else's expectations. I'm not fond of girls who tan too much - I think they've not been spending enough time in the library then!

Aha! See that's what you've got wrong. I would say the same, but if you look hard enough you can find one that does both. I've realized that some of those girls behind the Gucci sunglasses and $300 jeans have a brain behind them. Mine is studying electrical engineering. I have to laugh sometimes when I go into her lab study sessions at school late at night. Everytime I walk in, she's got 7 or 8 classmates who all look like Smeagol from Lord of the Rings huddled around her trying to help her out with the homework.

I understand where you're coming from though. 9 times out of 10 the Gucci ones are pretty dumb. Fun and easy to take home, but dumb nonetheless. That is, of course, if you look like Smeagol...
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #13 of 29
Cut them the hell out and get them checked right now. Right fucking now. Time is cancer's friend.

V/R,

Aries 1B
Cancer Survivor
...(Apparently)
"I pictured myself sitting in the shade of a leafy tree in a public park, a stylus in hand, a shiny Apple Tablet computer in my lap, and a pouty Jennifer Connelly stirring a pitcher of gimlets a...
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"I pictured myself sitting in the shade of a leafy tree in a public park, a stylus in hand, a shiny Apple Tablet computer in my lap, and a pouty Jennifer Connelly stirring a pitcher of gimlets a...
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post #14 of 29
Er....who is Smeagol?


(Does that qualify for dumb!)

I guess it bothers me how shallow someone could be to want a pair of Gucci sunglasses. An Apple Powerbook I can understand, but Gucci sunglasses??

Why not Oakleys? At least they are rugged and practical enough to be used for motorcycling/extreme sports, rather than just looking fragile and pretty.

Whilst we're on the subject of looks, the last thing I like about a girl is a conscious effort trying to diet. Anorexia wannabes really suck when you're dating them! Lol -I'd rather spend time with a girl who can at least cook properly rather than a weight-conscious one sending me on a guilt trip for finishing a meal I enjoy.

PS - oops - shall I make my lettering font any smaller so that everyone can read the previous post?
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 


Introducing...Smeagol.
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post

...

Whilst we're on the subject of looks, the last thing I like about a girl is a conscious effort trying to diet. Anorexia wannabes really suck when you're dating them! Lol -I'd rather spend time with a girl who can at least cook properly rather than a weight-conscious one sending me on a guilt trip for finishing a meal I enjoy.

PS - oops - shall I make my lettering font any smaller so that everyone can read the previous post?

It depends on how much money you have. If your broke and dating an anorexic everything is good because she won't eat when you go out.
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post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post



Introducing...Smeagol.

Yeeeekks.

That's some scary looking girlfriend with a tan!

Thanks for informing me - I don't watch t.v. so I'm pretty much ignorant when it comes to entertainment...
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous View Post

It depends on how much money you have. If your broke and dating an anorexic everything is good because she won't eat when you go out.

I never had financial problems to that extent that I'd sit and count salt grains on the main course!

Even when I was a student, I always worked evenings during waitering in posh cafes in London.

I think also something about me just makes me worry about thin girls, not only because they look like they're about to disappear. I don't find it attractive being condemned to skinniness at the cost of looks or whatever hang-up they might have. Might explain why I don't have girlfriends with a BMI of 16 like those tanned Spanish models....
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Doesn't help you live in England either.
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." - Mickey Mantle
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post #20 of 29
Hmmph.

I'm living in denial - remember?

Fortunately in the next few weeks I'll be out to France
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post

I never had financial problems to that extent that I'd sit and count salt grains on the main course!

Even when I was a student, I always worked evenings during waitering in posh cafes in London.

I think also something about me just makes me worry about thin girls, not only because they look like they're about to disappear. I don't find it attractive being condemned to skinniness at the cost of looks or whatever hang-up they might have. Might explain why I don't have girlfriends with a BMI of 16 like those tanned Spanish models....

You're not 18 and unemployed.
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post #22 of 29
I know

I can't imagine what it's like to be the States and out of the consumerist loop thing at 18. I was about 21 when I first went to the States. I loved it -the food portions were monster-huge, and also, er, our exchange rate meant things worked out better for Brits coming to the States.

Oops. Do you mean you are unemployed? I might have a left over sandwich I could send over.....
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post

I know

I can't imagine what it's like to be the States and out of the consumerist loop thing at 18. I was about 21 when I first went to the States. I loved it -the food portions were monster-huge, and also, er, our exchange rate meant things worked out better for Brits coming to the States.

Oops. Do you mean you are unemployed? I might have a left over sandwich I could send over.....

Just because I'm unemployed doesn't mean I'm living on the streets. I am still in high school and I live with my grandparents, so it's not really like being unemployed is terrible. I just can't buy/do everything I want.

Those exchange rates are going to kick my ass. I'm visiting England in July. I can't wait but it's costing me a lot of money.
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post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous View Post

Just because I'm unemployed doesn't mean I'm living on the streets. I am still in high school and I live with my grandparents, so it's not really like being unemployed is terrible. I just can't buy/do everything I want.

Those exchange rates are going to kick my ass. I'm visiting England in July. I can't wait but it's costing me a lot of money.


Lol! A bit of a contradiction I wonder....unemployed and flying to England (first class?).

Even with money, people can't buy/do what they want. When they have enough money to do it, that's when the doing and the having lose all significance - silver bullet, chasing after the next one after the next.

Hopefully the exchange rate won't be $2: £1. It's killing off our industry as well as everything else. The middle-classes think it's great, but the rest of the manufacturers really struggle with Americans seeing British goods as too expensive.

You'll have a good time in England in July; most of the English yuppies go to the States
Those on benefits fly out to unknown desitinations, and the service sectors usually close down.

Whereabouts in England are you going to?
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post

Lol! A bit of a contradiction I wonder....unemployed and flying to England (first class?).

...

Whereabouts in England are you going to?

I wish I was flying first class. I'll actually be in coach with 50 other kids I know. Our school band is going over to Worcester for an exchange type thing. This past summer the Wocester Youth Brass Band came over hear to play and stuff. It was great fun. We'll also be traveling to London for two days. I'll let all you AI's know more specific dates so you all can come and have a listen to us!
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post #26 of 29
Worcester - http://www.cityofworcester.gov.uk/

I've only been there once - with a girlfriend (she wasn't anorexic either!).

A friend of mine who got married (I was his best man) used to play brass too. He met his girlfriend whilst hunting for big tubas. That was the last time I heard brass music too.

This is the kind of music I listen to:

http://www.16horsepower.net/

It'll be cool if you can transcript their music for brass

London is great too! Although if there's 50 American kids all invading London in July, I'm returning home to France then ;P
post #27 of 29
1. Size, >1cm
2. Irregular borders
3. Irregular color
4. Irregular texture
5. Changing or growing

Medical types love mnemonics, so these are sometimes known as the ABCDE's:
Asymmetry
Border
Color
Diameter
Enlargement

Melanomas are the 6th most common cancer in the US: over 60,000 cases diagnosed a year. About 8000 people die of it each year. It's the msot serious kind of skin cancer. Less serious skin cancers are far more common, particular basal cell carcinoma (BCC) - which, unlike melanoma, very rarely metastasizes and can almost always be cured by simply cutting off the lesion. BCCs, in fact, are so common and so (typically) trivial that they aren't even included in most cancer statistics. But it can often be hard to tell a melanoma from a BCC before biopsy.

If there's any question at all, your physician should excise or biopsy the lesion and send it to a pathologist.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Towel View Post

1. Size, >1cm
2. Irregular borders
3. Irregular color
4. Irregular texture
5. Changing or growing

Medical types love mnemonics, so these are sometimes known as the ABCDE's:
Asymmetry
Border
Color
Diameter
Enlargement

Melanomas are the 6th most common cancer in the US: over 60,000 cases diagnosed a year. About 8000 people die of it each year. It's the msot serious kind of skin cancer. Less serious skin cancers are far more common, particular basal cell carcinoma (BCC) - which, unlike melanoma, very rarely metastasizes and can almost always be cured by simply cutting off the lesion. BCCs, in fact, are so common and so (typically) trivial that they aren't even included in most cancer statistics. But it can often be hard to tell a melanoma from a BCC before biopsy.

If there's any question at all, your physician should excise or biopsy the lesion and send it to a pathologist.

Do skin tags relate at all in form or function?
A Conclusion is the place where you get tired of thinking. - Lesicus Stupidicus
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post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Towel View Post

1. Size, >1cm
2. Irregular borders
3. Irregular color
4. Irregular texture
5. Changing or growing

Medical types love mnemonics, so these are sometimes known as the ABCDE's:
Asymmetry
Border
Color
Diameter
Enlargement

Melanomas are the 6th most common cancer in the US: over 60,000 cases diagnosed a year. About 8000 people die of it each year. It's the msot serious kind of skin cancer. Less serious skin cancers are far more common, particular basal cell carcinoma (BCC) - which, unlike melanoma, very rarely metastasizes and can almost always be cured by simply cutting off the lesion. BCCs, in fact, are so common and so (typically) trivial that they aren't even included in most cancer statistics. But it can often be hard to tell a melanoma from a BCC before biopsy.

If there's any question at all, your physician should excise or biopsy the lesion and send it to a pathologist.


That's it
That's said most of the time, it's not very hard to differenicate a BCC from a melomena. Of course there is the pigmented form of the BCC wich is tricky.
I do surgical procedure 25-20 times per year in order to cure melanoma. I remove more than one hundreds dark pigmented lesion in order to prevent melanoma

There is few things to know about melanoma :
- the chance of curing melanoma is more important if the melanoma is thin . The surface does not count. Thus the chance of cure a melanoma are far more important if you take them at a early stage
- solar burn are dangerous for child. Their immune systeme is immature, and therefore many years after some sleeping cancerous melanoma cell can wake up. Protect your child with solar cream, and do not expose them to the sun light when the sun is high. Dresses are a better protection than sun cream
- if you have any doubt about a skin lesion, show it to a dermatologist. Specially beware of a skin lesion wich is bleeding, evolve or look like the black duck (I mean way differents than the other aera of your skin)
- there is a lot of research about melanoma, many related to immunity. Basically the goal is to make our immune system very aggressive against the melanoma cell.
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