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Offline buckeye5

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Always melanoma worries
« on: December 01, 2013, 10:08:54 PM »
Hi everyone! My anxiety tends to be stirred up during stressful times, and for me that is always finals week. I first started posting on here as a freshman in college, and now I am a senior about to graduate.

One of my main worries is always melanoma because it is easy to see on your skin, I have a family history of lots of weird looking (but always harmless) moles, and I had (still have) severe acne for the past decade of my life. The only thing that has seemed to clear my skin is sun exposure. So when I was younger and stupid, ages about 17-20, I tanned for about two months out of each of those years in a tanning bed. Not everyday, but about 4 times per week for 2 months during those three years.

Now that I understand a lot better about tanning beds, I am freaking out that I damned myself to melanoma. I had one really weird mole removed about 2 years ago, and it was completely benign. Right now what I am scared about is a mole I've had on my breast for about the past 5 years. I never really noticed it until I was getting an exam and my doctor gasped and asked, "what's that?" At the time I told her I had it for a few years, and it hadn't changed (and I was so worried about breast cancer!) that I just let it go. But when my melanoma worries flare up, I always go back to it.

It hasn't changed (from what I can tell) in the past three years, but tonight, it looked like it had a small pimple on the side of it, and I am freaking out that it is growing.

I have tons of weird moles all over my body, and this one has fuzzy edges, and is 2 shades of brown. But there are about 4 others on my body that fit these characteristics too. Do you guys think this is just an anxiety flare up?
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Offline MrMoleHill

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Re: Always melanoma worries
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2013, 02:05:12 PM »
I've gotten into this melanoma fear, lately, too.  It's overshadowed all other HA fears that I've had. That's the only upside, I guess. So, now I've had several mole biopsies since August. Only one was necessary, and came back severely dysplastic. I had that re-excised and was given clear margins.

However, I had one long-standing, raised mole on my back - stable since I was a kid. No suspicion by the dermatologist, but it was kind of large and ugly, like 1 1/4 cm x 1cm, I guess.  So he did a shave biopsy, along with the others since August.  It came back as just a benign intradermal nevus.  Now, right in that biopsy site, a few months later, I see what appears to be pigmentation oddly regrowing through the biopsy scar. I knew this could happen, but seeing it has started a new freak out, as well.

I know with my HA, I'll hyper-focus on moles too, restarting that melanoma fear. Hey, it is scary, because these are things you can see, not just feel in your body, or perceive in your mind.   But I'd say, get checked out if you need to, but don't get sucked into the idea that you should biopsy stable, unsuspicious moles. I won't do that again, because I've read recurrence is hard to diagnose by pathologists.
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