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Unread 06-26-2004, 11:49 AM

My step-son's mom has melanoma in her neck; it was removed in a wide excision three years ago by a plastic surgery specialist and she has done fine since then . She and I are the same age -- 48 -- but she had a LOT of sun exposure working as a lifeguard in her local pool all through summers at college, and she's VERY blonde. She'd also had a number of basal cell carcinomas on her face and arms removed over the years. So her risk factors for this were higher.

However, she had to convince her plastic surgeon to remove it; her suspicion turned out to be more accurate than her surgeon's assessment. It was removed early, at her insistence, and she should be fine! She goes for monitoring periodically, but so far, she's been healthy ever since. Her surgeon did such a good job on the excision, too, that it's hardly noticeable .

Hope this helps, and good luck! Dysplastic nevi are VERY common (my DD has one, biopsy-proven) and sure look just as scary as melanoma. I'll keep my fingers crossed that's what you're dealing with...

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Unread 06-28-2004, 01:25 PM

I have such incredible admiration for the women on this board. I'm awaiting tomorrow's dermatologist appointment with such dread ... can't sleep, don't want to talk to anyone, am sure diagnosis will be a death sentence, in utter panic, etc. So many of you are facing so much, yet are so optimistic. I need to uncurl myself from the fetal position ... at least until I have an actual diagnosis.

Best wishes to all of you.
Unread 06-28-2004, 02:35 PM

Why would this be a death sentence. Chances are great that it is not melanoma and even if it is, why is that a death sentence? I know 3 people who had melanoma in the 1980's, all were treated, and all have been cancer free since then. Other than being careful about sun exposure, nothing is different about their lives.

You're mistake was asking someone who is not a dermatologist or even a doctor. No one can tell you if this is melanoma. Dermatologists can usually tell, but even they can wrong. Without a biospy, NO ONE can be certain if you have a melanoma or something else.

If you have a perscription for Ativan or something like that, take it. You need to calm down. Chances are 100 to 1 that you do not have melanoma.

Hugs and comfort,
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Unread 06-28-2004, 06:04 PM

Hi Lisa, I've had many dysplastic moles removed. I had a lot of sun exposure and now am reaping the rewards. I had one on my chest that looked exactly like the pictures of melanoma in the doctor's office. I looked at it for years before I finally had it checked out. It was dysplastic but not melanoma. I go yearly for exams. Don't freak out until you have something to freak out about. God Bless you.
Unread 06-29-2004, 06:25 AM

Thanks to all of you. My appointment is today. I'm hoping he'll be able to tell me something fairly quickly, as my hyster is still scheduled for two weeks from today. Take care.
Unread 06-29-2004, 08:39 PM

What did the dermatologist say? It's fine, right?
I hope so,
Unread 06-30-2004, 08:11 AM
Yup, might be melanoma

Thanks for asking! I went yesterday and he removed the mole. Yes, he does feel it might be melanoma, but he is simply hoping that the diagnosis will come back as "dysplastic." A couple of things are working in my favor -- the mole was still reasonably round, and it was smaller than a pencil eraser. He's confident that if it's a melanoma, it will be a Stage 1, and very little further treatment will be required.

The biopsy will be back tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed -- thanks!
Unread 06-30-2004, 11:09 AM

Lisa I have my fingers crossed that you will have good news! Hate waiting for those biopsy results!
Unread 06-30-2004, 03:30 PM

Lisa, I've been thinking about you - let us know how it goes!

Unread 06-30-2004, 04:11 PM

No word today, but the very kind nurse at the derm's office called to let me know that she had phoned the pathology lab to check .. just in case, because she knew I was worried. How nice was that?? She said we'll know by noon tomorrow, and that the doctor had put a "rush" on the sample. My black humor kicked in on that one ... his putting a "rush" on it can't be in my favor, I imagine.

Also, I have to share this story .. I am about two weeks late for my mammogram, and DSO reminded me again last night that I need to schedule it. Now, keep in mind that my annual gynecological exam revealed 15 fibroids, and then I found the possibly-melanoma mole. I told him to back off for a couple weeks -- that any time a physician has touched me lately, I've ended up losing, or being threatened with losing, a body part ...

We can't appreciate the good without days like this, can we? Thanks for all your support.

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