Saturday, April 17, 2010

Suspect mole...

When I had my health check recently, I showed my doctor this mole I have on my arm. She suggested I attend a skin clinic with another doctor at the practice. He went over me with a special light or lens (not sure which), checking my moles. He advised me to have a shave biopsy on this one. I fronted up on Tuesday and had the thing shaved off and the specimen was sent off to pathology.
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I went back on Thursday to have it re-dressed and the results were back. Although he had told me it did not look like a suspect melanoma (he had some other looong name for it), the results came back to say it was pre-melanoma and should be taken off by elliptical excision (the mole and surrounding and underlying skin are taken in the shape of an oval or ellipse).
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As a result, I have a 5cm long, 5mm deep incision, lots of very neat internal stitches and about 8 external stitches. Scarring should be minimal. It is right on the bend of my elbow and holy crap it smarts when I bend it!
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So peoples, do youself a favour - get a loved one to check you over for irregular shaped, coloured, flat moles - especially under bra straps when you can't see them. Get a doctor to check the moles, take photos for size/growth comparison and get them removed. Better a small scar than a large chunk of flesh having to be cut out. I'm glad I went along - I have another few that will be monitored over time.
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Cheers - Joolz

9 comments:

  1. always good to have them checked regularly - we have regular checks at work which is good...my son's GF has been nagging him for ages to have one on his leg looked at....he went along and the doctor took it straight off....he hasn't got the results back yet...so hopefully it is ok. Glad you are ok..painful spot right on the elbow like that!

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  2. We always get checked annually ...better be safe than sorry. It only takes a few minutes to checked out!

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  3. Melanoma didn't used to be much of a problem here in England but so many people take holidays where it's hot and sunny now, that we have to be careful just the same. The messsage has been a long time getting through but since melanoma is on the increase here people are starting to wake up! Thanks for showing the pics. If that doesn't bring home the messsage, nothing will.

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  4. Thanks for this reminder. You'll be past those stitches in now time, and so much better than dealing with the alternative!C

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  5. Joolz, thanks SO much for sharing this. I would like to add that melanoma is not restricted to the parts of the skin that get sun. My best friend had vulvar melanoma. One day she felt an irritated area, she immediately made an appointment with her doctor who sent her directly to a specialist. Within a matter of days, she had surgery to remove the area and lymph nodes from her groin. Tests came back indicating that it had already spread to the lymph nodes. This type is particularly virulent, and although she immediately began aggressive treatments at the best cancer hospital in the country, we lost her within a couple of years.

    I'm so proud of you for calling it to your doctor's attention, and then getting it take care of. I prefer not to have any more friends fight that battle.

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  6. I was amazed to learn that melanoma can even be found in the eye! So glad you had this taken care of and will be closely monitored! Both my daughters had their wisdom teeth removed, as well as I when I was 21 yrs. old. I did fine with mine as did my youngest daughter. The eldest daughter had the toughest time as usual. Thankfully, my son did not need his wisdom teeth removed, nor did he have to wear braces like his sisters! Good thing too, because he has no tolerance for pain or discomfort and I know he'd have taken the pliers to those braces! lol Wishing a speedy recovery for you and your daughter! Hugs, V.

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  7. That is an awkward place to have stitches. After reading this post, I had a good look at all my moles, freckles etc and there are a couple which I will bring to the attention of my doctor, I've had a few off over the years. Even if you think they are nothing it is better to get them checked out.

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  8. Thanks for this reminder Joolz. And the photos! It's helpful to see stuff like this!

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  9. JOOLZ! OH MY WORD! When I saw this on fb I just thought this was a scrape or something. I had no idea what was going on until I popped in her tonight! I am SO SORRY you had to go through all that but am VERY glad you had it checked and had a good doctor NOT fool around with it. Praise the LORD!!!!!!!!!!

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