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Medical Cancerous moles

  1. Feb 27, 2008 #1
    I have this mole, and it looks like skin cancer and Im getting it looked at on the 5th, I went into see my doctor about it awhile ago she was kind of useless she said "to just keep an eye on it" I went to another doctor recently who referred me to a dermatologist, I would be really mad at the first doctor for not referring me to a dermatologist the first time if it was cancer because I left thinking it wasn't cancer, but anyways my question is, what are the odds of a cancerous looking mole (two colors, not quite 6mm/the size of a pencil eraser I think, irregular border but not super irregular elevated with a hair growing in it. theres also another small mole near it with three black dots in the middle.) being cancerous I mean is it possible for moles to develop and look like cancer but not be cancer or what i have a lot of freckles/moles and i read that you're more likely to have skin cancer if you have a lot of freckles/moles that are normal, also the mole is on my arm, and females are more likely to develop melanoma on their arms/legs? I also cant tell if some of the other ones are just freckles or...I mean theres like a small two colored mole (or freckle?) on my leg but the mole on my arm is elevated so thats one way I can tell the difference that its a mole, Im not sure if all the other ones are freckles are there two-colored freckles ever? (My mom is a redhead, both my mom and sister are pretty pale, my sister is blonde, but I never burn or tan/am brunette, and am not pale like they are but I've heard there's debate about how much melonama is related to sun exposure/non childhood sun exposure as opposed to the other two skin cancers?) The mole is obviously composed of two colors (dark and light) when you look at under sunlight; the difference is much less obvious when not under sunlight which is one reason I didn't get it rechecked after seeing my doctor

    My sister was like, oh I read this chart and the death rate for cancer isnt that high, but I think she was factoring in the death rate of all three cancers and not just melanoma which I've heard is pretty fatal? I was reading this blog of someone who had, I think it was thryoid cancer and they said if they had a choice theyd pick thyroid cancer over melanoma
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2008 #2


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    If you have freckles, I think you're doing the right thing to have a dermatologist check you over for any suspicious moles...it's harder to spot a mole amidst freckles than if it's the only spot obvious on your skin, and a dermatologist is better trained to recognize normal from abnormal.

    There are a lot of moles that are just moles. Often, the sign people are told to watch for is a change in the mole...color, texture, size, etc.

    If it's suspicious, the dermatologist will remove it and send it to a lab to determine if it's a cancer or just a funny looking mole. Often these tests come back benign (I've known lots of people who have had suspicious moles removed and they turned out totally benign), and if it is cancerous, often just having removed it has rid you of all the cancer (though you'd want to be checked more often in the future for recurrance). Only rarely is it something that is spread beyond the skin before it is removed.

    Your dermatologist can explain this all to you in more detail and with reference to your particular mole.
  4. Mar 1, 2008 #3
    Bioquest mentioned black spots. I have some of these black head looking things on a mole on the side of my cheek, is that suspicious? It's pretty much flat and it's been there forever, I am just interested inw hat the black head like spots represent.

  5. Mar 1, 2008 #4
    I think it's more that the moles are one or more of these:

    2 or more colors
    irregular border (I mean..not just a round border...a weirdly shaped border or something)
    more than 6mm in size
    Not sure how much they want people to consider the elevation of the mole I think if it is cancer the more it's elevated the worse the situation (possibly) I think elevation of the mole can sometimes relate to how much it's spread ie the higher the mole the worse the spread. Not all elevated moles are cancer though. I think moles have a tendancy to become elevated and grow hair etc over time.

    Obviously there's risk factors too like family history, how pale you are, etc...but regardless of risk factors you should look for moles with the above 5 signs and deal with them.. ..if you're super at risk for skin cancer though you should keep that in mind I would think my sister would be given her history of sunburns and that she's super pale. I think skin cancer is found more often on people with a LOT of moles and freckles? but am not positive about that. Moonbear would probably know more about skin cancer

    I thought black spots indicated your body was trying to send stuff to the cancerous cells or something (trying to remember what I read)

    well whatever it can't hurt to have a dermatologist look you over everywhere for any signs indicating skin cancer once in awhile but people should do monthly checks on themselves everywhere on top of that. Um why don't you go see your dermatologist just in case? (If you can't find the answer to whether or not black spots in the mole are possibly indicative of a problem soon enough. They may be indicative of skin cancer- I have no idea- so you should find out if they are or not. I think I remember reading something or other relating to black spots being indicative of skin cancer but I have no idea)
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2008
  6. Mar 4, 2008 #5
    I had a suspicious, slowly growing, raised, bleeding, irregularly shaped, darkly colored skin lesion removed from the back of my upper arm. Turned out to be a benign nevus. Just a mole that was bleeding because it itched and I scratched.
  7. Mar 12, 2008 #6

    Hey my motto is when in doubt check it out. This skin cancer is no joke. I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 1989. I was in my late 20s and my brother noticed a mole on my neck that he never noticed before. So being young and dumb I put off getting it checked out for a couple weeks. I finally had it check out and the day after I got the biopsy back I had emergency surgery. I was then admitted to the University of Melanoma Clinic for ten years. The bottom line is that this is a timing issue if I put off getting checked for another two months I would not be typing this reply. So get checked and do it regularly.
    Good Luck!

    Chris McCann
    <link removed>
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2008
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