Monday, February 06, 2017

The Dermatologist Says My "Spots" Are Fine

I got a call from my dermatologist's office this morning. They said that the biopsy came back and it everything was fine. It was certainly a relief.

I joking call myself the Melanoma poster boy. I have blond hair, blue eyes, light colored skin and had the requisite number of sun burns as a kid to be a prime candidate for skin cancer.

And I've actually had it once. I noticed a spot on my neck around the holidays in 2014. I went to my regular doctor. He didn't seem to think it looked bad but I said the mole had changed shape. He said to go down the hall and get an appointment with the dermatologist. 

Here's the link to my first visit to the dermatologist.

Here's more about the procedure I had.

I now have check ups every six months and will have for the next three years.

I strongly recommend having a check up. That's especially true if you were or are out in the sun a good deal and are fair haired and fair skinned. This cancer can be caught early and treated very successfully. If you see something strange get to a doctor.

Here's an easy guide in spotting skin cancer:
The following easy-to-remember guideline, "ABCDE," is useful for identifying malignant melanoma:
  • Asymmetry -- One side of the lesion does not look like the other.
  • Border irregularity -- Margins may be notched or irregular.
  • Color -- Melanomas are often a mixture of black, tan, brown, blue, red, or white.
  • Diameter -- Cancerous lesions can be larger than 6 mm across (about the size of a pencil eraser), although with early detection they will not reach this size.
  • Evolution -- has a mole changed over time?
 One thing to be aware of is a change in color can be a mole going from dark to white. I guess we all seem to associate cancer with things turning black. Well in this case a mole getting lighter in color can be an alarm as well. 

The chart above gives you an even better idea of what to look for. So if you see something that looks a little off don't wait get to your doctor. The earlier the cancer is caught the better your chances are. The cure rates are close to 95%.

Like I said if you see something get you butt to the doctor!

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