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Author Topic: Upcoming dermatologist appointment-skin cancer? absolutely terrified!  (Read 450 times)

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Offline doxiemom

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Hi all,

So my health anxiety has hit an all time high and I can't handle it anymore. I have a flat mole on my scalp at the hairline that I noticed for the first time about 5 yrs ago. It's completely flat, uniform light brown color, edges are jagged though and it's slightly larger than a pencil eraser. Recently I've become obsessive over thinking I could have skin cancer. So, at the advice of my mom and husband due to them having to listen to me panic and a family history of skin cancer (both paternal and maternal grandfathers), I am making an appt with my dermatologist tomorrow to have a complete skin check and whatever biopsies performed. I'm nearly being thrown into a panic attack just thinking about calling to schedule tomorrow and the actual appointment...I honestly don't know how I'm going to manage while waiting for results. All I keep thinking is I'm going to get 'that' phone call telling me to come in for results. I'm 24, 5 ft 7 and about 50 lbs overweight, which I am working on losing...struggled with GAD since 2009 and I feel like I just can't see over the top of it. :'( Please if anyone can offer words of encouragement or consolation I would be forever grateful.  :traurig001:
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"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference."

Offline Lunatone

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Re: Upcoming dermatologist appointment-skin cancer? absolutely terrified!
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2014, 01:25:11 AM »
You are going to get that phone call telling you to come in. They cannot legally tell you the results over the phone, due to confidentiality. In any event, you know its the right thing, and that you can get through. The people who care about you will help you out, and they'll be there at the end, no matter the result. You'll get through it.
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Offline RussulaEmetica

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Re: Upcoming dermatologist appointment-skin cancer? absolutely terrified!
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2014, 01:37:10 AM »
Hi Doxiemom,

I have probably over 100 moles all over my body of all colors, shapes, sizes, and textures. I also grew up in Florida, where my family would go out on a boat every weekend and bake me in the sun from a very young age. So needless to say, I was incredibly anxious before my first dermatology visit (which was this December, and I'm 23).

First off, the dermatologist I had seemed like she knew exactly what she was looking for. She had no doubts, even about the mole on my right buttock which has ragged edges, different colors, and is now 1cm x 2cm (about 2 pencil erasers). When I asked about it she said "It looks like a mole you've had since you were a kid and nothing to worry about" and she was right on! I did get 2 moles on my back biopsied, both negative. But she assured me (before I knew the results) that even if they were malignant that it was nothing to worry about because I was young and these did not seem to be in any late stage. Skin cancer is incredibly treatable especially when caught early (lucky for the both of us, we're young  :bigsmile:). The good thing is, you are getting things checked now. Also, like I said above, I have hundreds of moles that are all very different, and of those hundreds my derm found two potential melanomas, and neither were malignant or even ones I was initially concerned about.

As far as the biopsies were concerned, my derm did a scrape biopsy, and aside from the initial numbing, it was painless and nothing to worry about. I saw my derm right before Christmas too, so my wait was probably a bit longer than most. However, my dermatologist was so comforting about the potential results I had very little anxiety about them. The best thing to do is keep yourself occupied with things you enjoy doing and people you enjoy being around and remember that you're young.

Sending the best of vibes your way! :happy0158:
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Offline xxAmyxx

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Re: Upcoming dermatologist appointment-skin cancer? absolutely terrified!
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2014, 12:54:44 PM »
I know it can be stressful. I had something pop up out of nowhere and I was sure it was bad. I went to my derm and he took one look at it and said, oh that's nothing. So at least you'll know right away if it's something concerning. I had him remove it just in case b/c I didn't want to continue to obsess over it. He was right, it was nothing. I'm sure you'll be ok. Keep us updated.
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Offline lovelovelovealways

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Re: Upcoming dermatologist appointment-skin cancer? absolutely terrified!
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2014, 02:34:50 PM »
I am just like RussulaEmetica ... I have more than 100 weird looking moles on my body and visit the dermatologist twice a year. I use to get major health anxiety over this until I decided to take charge of my skin. You see, the biggest thing you need to worry about with Melanoma is CHANGE. If the doctors biopsied every weird  mole on my body I would look like I had been attacked by a barbed wire fence.  I have that many! But, they decided to take full body pictures and then refer to the those photos every visit. I also take those photos home in between so I can compare during my monthly visit. Because of this process, I have gotten to know my moles well and I know when something is up. So I never go into an appt anymore worrying what they will find because I would have found it first... Seeing as I am so vigilant about my monthly skin checks with my pictures. Now, this is your first visit, so you will probably have a few biopsies, but try your best to know that doctors very much weigh on the side of caution when it comes to moles... I have had more biopsies that I can count and none of them have come back melanoma... So try to keep that in mind. Hugs. 
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Offline Ihadcancer

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Re: Upcoming dermatologist appointment-skin cancer? absolutely terrified!
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2014, 03:40:16 PM »
PHONE CALL?  My dermatopathologist's office calls me with both my results and my husbands results tho sometimes I get an all clear letter in the mail first. Usually, if I don't get a call within a few days, I know it's nothing to worry about. 

First, flat moles that haven't changed, uniform color, not itching, bleeding, etc. is probably just a mole.  If you are worried about it, ask him to go ahead and biopsy it.  That way, it'll be over and gone forever.  I've had several removed that were just 'moles'.  I've had one removed that was severe dysplasia but it had come up quickly and was not uniform in shape or color. Thankfully it was removed and I never have to worry about that one again.  It was on my butt!

Please don't worry.  Moles that DO turn to something usually do so over many years and you'd be able to see a change. 

Did you know that the moles that stick up on your body will lose color over time and if you live to be quite old, you'll die without any moles! They fall off.  I did not know that but I have 3 moles that have either totally faded or lightened a lot and my doc calls them 'ancient moles'. 

You're going to do GREAT!  Be sure to come back and brag on yourself!
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Offline doxiemom

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Re: Upcoming dermatologist appointment-skin cancer? absolutely terrified!
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 11:28:56 PM »
You guys are so incredibly kind  :-* Somehow I was able to get in tomorrow at 4:15 when they are normally booked out 2-4 wks at a time...maybe the good Lord knew I couldn't handle the anxiety much longer. Going to one of the top rated practices in our area. Fingers crossed for good news. Will update tomorrow night. Thanks again guys for the so very kind words.
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"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference."

Offline doxiemom

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Re: Upcoming dermatologist appointment-skin cancer? absolutely terrified!
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2014, 06:46:49 PM »
Well everyone, I'm done! The doc did a quick scan and actually said that the place on my scalp was nothing to worry about. He said that he wants me to just keep an eye on that spot and another on my stomach, and to see him in a year!  ;D He did however, refer me to a plastic surgeon to completely remove a spot on my inner right ankle that was biopsied when I was about 10 or so via scrape and was benign...we were told it would come back, and it did. The doc said that he was more concerned because it came back different colored (although it was multi-colored pre-biposy) and would rather it be gone than stay, and he is sure that it is still benign...but would still like it to go. Anyone know why I would be referred to a plastic surgeon for the removal? I thought they could just completely excise it there in the derm office...I forgot to ask him why. ANYWAYS, I can breath a HUGE sigh of relief tonight, and thanks so much to all of you who commented. All godsends!
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"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference."

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