the pictures you see of various melanomas are not fresh brand new ones if that is what you mean. I would imagine a mole or blemish starts small. My mole which was normal size for ever it seemed suddenly (well six months) to grow to huge proportions.
you did the correct thing in making that appt. (assuming you have already) and the dermatologist will be able to diagnose it for you. In a months time? is that when you will make the appt or now and have to wait for a month? but regardless, by that time, the anger mad spot from messing about with it will be settled down.
If you only just noticed it then it is new I would assume. Keep on being aware of things and yes you did a great thing (or will be doing it) by seeing a doctor.
the way it works here, is you see your family doctor, show them the spot (or spots) and they can also sort of tell a bit about what it is. They will refer you to the specialist, and that is when the wait seems to occur. (at least here it does)
Growing up in Fla will indeed come into the facts. I live in Canada, (yes we do have massive amounts of sun shine (KIDDING) and had several burns as a child, as of course that was not heard of (cancer from the SUN??) now with the surgery for my malignant melanoma behind me (well it was 3 months ago) I am now having my life a sun shunner. wearing approp apparel, sun block, not sitting out in the sun, but seeking shade always.
even if your spots are not in the danger zone, it is a good thing to pay attention to, the sun stuff. I never was a sun worshipper, never set out to get a tan, do not fit any criteria for prone cancer stuff....no family history, nor personal history yet it happened to me. Shocked me it did. I am still reeling from the speed of all what has happened to me.
For that, I now am officially considered a cancer patient, which sort of irks me. But for the next 3 years I go to the cancer hospital here in Toronto, every three months, then every six months for two more years, then every year forever...... but at least I am alive, and after much nagging from my family members who were witnessing the huge growing mole, I finally went and remembered to ask the doctor what is it?
I will look to this board for your post office visit to your doctor to see what is going on.
He said 10 days maybe sooner. I have a few questions if you don't mind?
How long did the mole look bad before you got it looked at?
How long ago did you get yours removed/treated?
What do they do at all of your hospital visits, what are they looking for?
well since the mole was in the upper middle of my back (below the neck) I was not visual to it. (not in the habit of peering into a mirror into a mirror type thing) hey I am 54 and what is there to look at?
Since I love my back being rubbed and have lots of aches and pains, and bribe my daughter and husband with homemade cookies to rub my back (like a cat) aaahhhhh she kept on talking about the gross mole. FInally she stopped rubbing my back in a last ditch effort to get me to ask the family doctor about it. (I had other more pressing (or so I thought) issues to deal with. like I am a thyroid patient and wanted my meds increased etc etc. Make a long story short we figured the mole which had been there forever, but just normal misplaced beauty mark I always called it began changing and it was say 6 months before I finally remembered to have my doc take a look.
She did (doc) and sent me to a plastic surgeon as it was rather large, and quite ugly, and my DD said it was like a ugly black mexican black bean shape and size (hardly my lovely little mole of long ago) I went on summer vacation (camping) then came home and had the mole removed (took me about 4 months to get an apppointment (remember now we all thought it was just an ugly old thing, even my doc. even the plastic surgeon when I went on my first consult - no rush says he.
Well when it was removed by excision about a 1.5 inch cut, three stitches, when those results came back wow FIT HIT THE SHAN (parden my language) all were shocked. I was back in hospital in six days from when my stitches were taken out, and pathology was back from the lab.... and in six days after that, I was officially a patient at our Princess Margaret's Hospital which deals in cancer. (world renowned)
I went there, they scheduled me for CT scans, I had that done, it showed more nodules (in the chest) I go back end of Dec for the second scan to see if said nodules have grown...if not then I guess all is ok.
My three month appt will be to go over any other marks moles, lesisons and generally how I am feeling. They take my weight, my blood pressure, and the four of the doctors (I lovingly call my herd of oncologists) all take notes and tsk and tsk. Because of the size of the tumour (yes it is called a tumour) it was 4mm thick, and had gone down quite far but had not spread.
The pathology from the second larger wide local excision said clear margins no residual melanoma. That is a good thing. I think I just have to go back as that is protocal. I was sheduled to partake in interferon drug clinical trials, but I had to opt out as it would not fit with my life here. I am caregiver for elderly parent, and could not have folks driving me all the way to the city and wait hours and hours every single day for a full month. So I am just being monitored.
The mole was removed with local freezing in ACU (ambulatory care unit) on August 9th (2004) had stitches taken out (the three of them on August 24th) long time but he is a plastic surgeon so I think he rather they stay in to make sure the thing is closed. That was the day (the 24th) when he read me the report, and said he has booked surgery for the 1st of Sept. Went in "day surgery' operation took 2.5 hours' and stayed in bed for a few days, and basically vegged out for about 10 days.
on the 6th of September is when I went for my first appt at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. the every three months is normal for the thickness. They do use chemotherapy if it warrants it, and I think this up coming CT scan (second one) of the chest will let us all know a bit more. I must also find and go to on a regular basis a good dermatologist which I have yet to do. We have to get 'referals' to specialists by our family doctors.
Hope that answers some of your questions.
Keep in mind please You did well getting yourself seen to. Peace of mind and good optomistic attitude is what is key here.
Wow, what an ordeal.
Everyone thinks about cancer as being lung, colon, stomach, lekuma but never really skin. Its strange because you can see your skin but can't see all the other types of cancer but don't really think about the skin.
I have a large mole 1/4" on my chest that I have had since birth that I never really think about. It is round, flat and all the same color. Not what I would call suspisious but I will have the derm remove it anyways this Dec. just in case.
I think the care you are getting is great. I had no idea that they keep up with the patient so much.
I went to the derm today and he said nothing to worry about.
The large flat mole that I have on my chest is what he called a congenital nevi I have had since childhood. Its a little smaller than a dime and he said it would not be worth the scar that I would get from removing it. My back is covered with those sun spots from growing up in Florida, he also said not to worry about them.
He handed me a Melonoma brocure that had some pretty odd looking moles.(none of mine looked like that)
I asked him how common Melinoma was in our area and he said he sees it in spurts.
He told me about a person that had a black spot the size of a quarter on their back that they ignored for years. It came back Melanoma and he is worried about them.
Besides self exams what is a good intervel to go have a skin check at the docs?