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September 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm #56093
Derm every month? I go every 3 months (since last year after diagnosis). Is it recommended to go more often?September 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm #56094 No. That was my decision after going every two months and then finding we missed a melanoma on one visit. I’m hoping that if I can get a year or two melanoma and dysplastic nevi-free, I’ll go back to once very few months.September 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm #56095 I always have a lot of dysplastic nevi too, probably always will. I don’t think they will remove all of them, even if I go very often.September 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm #56096 My doc’s intent isn’t to remove all of them. She has biopsied those that look a bit different than they did when my full body pics were taken two years ago, or those that look particularly strange. Seems like I’ve had a whole lot of those, unfortunately!September 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm #56097Catherine PooleKeymaster Having dysplastic nevi syndrome, which many folks have, including my husband, does increase your risk for melanoma, but taking them all off doesn’t prevent melanoma. Photography to watch them is the judicious approach. Pregnancy has never been proven as a factor in getting melanoma, however, the growth hormones may be at play. But no scientific data to show correlation between pregnancy and melanoma.September 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm #56098 Thanks, Catherine. My derm also said that there’s no use in taking all of my moles in that there’s no evidence that would suggest they’d become melanoma, even if they are moderate/severe. It’s just that once we biopsy anything that looks suspicious, it’s coming out through excision if, in fact, the pathology report comes back showing it’s moderate or worse. She said that most melanoma actually forms on new skin. Again, I’m doing what I can to stay in front of everything and am fighting the battle on as many fronts as I can, both physically and emotionally. Thank you again for starting this site. It’s worth it’s weight in gold. L.September 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm #56099 What I don’t get is that I’ve had midly atypical (mild cytologic atypia) excised, with margins involved, and they don’t go back and re-excise anything. Isn’t cyologic atypia, even mild, a precursor for melanoma, or at least a potential precursor? How can they not go back and get it all?September 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm #56100 That’s a really good question for Catherine — LSeptember 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm #56101Catherine PooleKeymaster No, there isn’t any reason for reexcision on atypical moles with cytologic atypia, that is not a precursor to melanoma. I think the only thing that may be considered precursor would be an insitu melanoma.September 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm #56102 Thanks, Catherine. I recall a pervious derm once saying that a mole biopsy came back showing that it had abornal, precancerous cells which, left to their own devices, would likely become melanoma. That particular mole was never diagnosed as insitu or melanoma at all. What would be considered “precancerous” that’s different than a severely dyspastic mole?September 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm #56103AngelaMParticipant I also go every 2nd month out of choice. My derm would see me every 3 months otherwise. That is the standard care for people with multiple primaries here.
Yes I was born and raised in SA. My family is of Celtic descent, however, but have been here for many years.
Regarding pregnancy, my doctors feel otherwise. They see a lot of melanomas. SA has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world. Some doctors here believe the rate to be higher than Australia. They also say they most often see multiple primaries, also in contradiction to the published so-called 8%. I wanted to have another baby earlier this year and they absolutely not. Not until I’ve been free melanoma for at least 2 years. They also say that people with multiple primaries eventually stop getting them and that I will too. I’m not sure what to believe! I would like to believe that however!
Lisa, it’s great hearing from you and I would love to keep in touch!September 17, 2012 at 8:05 pm #56104
Oh, I would love to believe that too! It would be such a great thing to not have to worry anymore. Having said that, I am grateful to have primaries that are caught under my doctors’ watchful eyes before they become anything worse.
As far as what causes all of this, who knows. The first one was on my rear end, which has rarely seen the light of day! I got two bad burns as a teenager but, other than that, have hid from the sun for much of my life. Luck of the draw, I suppose!
At any rate, keep reading on the pregnancy thing. If Catherine says there’s no clear link between the two, my money is with her.September 17, 2012 at 11:52 pm #56105JenniParticipant
I have had many different derms (I move alot) and I had one melanoma insitu and another that was maybe turning into melanoma insitu within 4 months of each other.
My first was diagnosed in Dec 09, 3 months BEFORE I got pregnant with my first child. The second started changing the first month of pregnancy (BUT I do not, nor does my derm believe, it was caused by pregnancy, it was too soon for such a reaction anyways, it was like 6 weeks along). It scares me too, but I haven’t had a “bad” mole since March 2010, just about 12 atypicals, ranging from mild-moderate/severe, but nothing requiring a WLE. Anyways, we are trying for a second baby, our daughter is now 22 months and ALL doctors tell me not to let melanoma stop me and to move forward. Just keep an eye on the skin, if it changes too much for comfort, cut it off
That is my thought!
I go every 6 months now, to the same derm and she has photos. I do see one other derm once a year, as my backup as I call it (extra reassurance), but that is what I am at now. I will hit my 3 yr mark this December from my FIRST diagnosis.
Don’t give up on the babies!
JenniSeptember 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm #56106LaurieParticipant
I have had three melanoma in-situs in close to 4 years. My last one was this August (WLE performed 9/7 – margins were all clear). I am a walking example of atypical moles (and now unfortunately age spots too). I have lost track of the actual number of shave biopsies I have had over the years and have never gone back for additional margins on any of the abnormal or atypical results. I am now back to 3 month visits with my dermatologist, but I’m still always checking out my skin. If I find something “new” or “changed” I keep an eye on it for a week or two to see if it goes away. If it doesn’t go away I will either call to make an appointment or wait if I am close to my next one. My last two melanoma’s were my finding them during my own checks and going to the derm to get his opinion. So knowing your own skin is important. My derm and I have a very good relationship and we communicate pretty well. Which I think is very important.
The worry is always in the back of my mind, but coming here to share and get educated helps tremendously. I thank you all for sharing your stories and knowledge, please know that it helps.
I wish all of us the best that life has to offer…. live, love and laugh…..and try to relax (much easier said than done).September 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm #56107
Is it true some in-situ’s might have never done anything if left, or would all eventually become something more?
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