Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stages I &II latest biopsy actinic keratosis (on head)

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  • #21347
    cohanja
    Participant

    calling it “precancer”. . going to do cryosurgery. . is that the standard treatment?

    #61138
    goldengirl2011
    Participant

    From what I’ve read, yes this is a standard treatment. Keep us posted.

    #61139
    cohanja
    Participant

    Thanks.

    I understand that it’s most common in people 50-80+ from chronic sun exposure. . i’m not even 40. . . what the heck is wrong with my immune system too to keep allowing all of this? Immunosuppressed people get this. . does this indicate anything with regard for future melanoma that my immune system is so weak?

    If i never had melanoma, I’d be freaking out by this. . but since my melanoma, this is really not too bad, common in older people and many of these would not become anything and if they did it would be SCC. . not melanoma. anything not melanoma doesn’t freak me out.

    #61140
    Worrywart
    Participant

    AK is caused by chronic sun exposure. Have you had lots of sunburns? Stress lowers the immune system so that could be why its an issue right now (cause you’re definitely stressed!). I wouldn’t worry about an AK though.

    #61141
    cohanja
    Participant

    yes, lots of sunburns

    i wonder why one time it causes melanoma, another time it causes AK

    #61142
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    Thank your lucky stars this showed up as an AK. It just means it is precancerous and sometimes (in my case) a cream is used (aldara). I have one that keeps coming back, we burn it off, then go to the cream. So the DNA of your skin reacts differently to the sun exposure. Again feel fortunate!

    #61143
    Webbie73
    Participant

    cohanja wrote:
    Thanks.

    I understand that it’s most common in people 50-80+ from chronic sun exposure. . i’m not even 40. . . what the heck is wrong with my immune system too to keep allowing all of this

    Cohanja, I started getting AKs and SKs back in my 30s. I have had all 3 types of skin cancer. we are who we are and can not change our genes.

    Don’t take this wrong but you really do need to get some counseling. It is not good to be so obsessed and worried about getting melanoma. You had stage 1 melanoma just like I did. There is too many years left to spend all my time worrying whether I will get another melanoma, BCC or SCC.

    #61144
    cohanja
    Participant

    I don’t take offense, but I don’t think a counselor can remove the fact that I’m a young father with young kids who is looking at 5 and 10 year survival rates (a position I never imagined), and I’ve read numerous accounts of people who started just like me and then X years later they are battling Stage IV for their lives. If a counselor can remove that reality, then I’m all for it. I’m not obsessed about getting melanoma, I’m worried the melanoma I had will get me before my time.

    #61145
    Jenni
    Participant

    I used to have obsession thoughts all the time when I was first diagnosed with melanoma (Dec 09) and for that first year or two it was hard to think about anything else. AND still, 3.5 yrs later, I still have panic moments when I think something doesn’t feel right or I think another mole is changing, etc. I had therapy a bit and I don’t think it hurt me but it didn’t completely do it for me either. I had to sorta ignore it, meaning, I would force myself say on a Friday to make a deal (with myself) that I would NOT think about melanoma. I would fill my weekend with a ton of activities (dinners, outings, reading, gardening, whatever I could) and then on Monday I was allowed to think about it again. And then I just forced myself to go longer and longer amounts of time. Now, generally, I allow a freak out day when I do my skin exam (once a month), that is when I am allowed to think about it. Granted, I have a few new moles I found this month (due to hormones I hope and nothing more) but I went to the derm, had one removed to see what it looks like and on I go with life, as best I can.

    Mine was in situ but I have a lot of moles and they are always atypical, so I feel I am “unlucky” too. But I am also young (32) with a 2.5 yr old daughter and twins on the way this fall. I think personally for a 32 yr old I have been through a lot too. Back surgery, c section, melanoma and my family has a pretty strong history of breast cancer (with my 33 yr old cousin battling stage 3 breast cancer right now). All my friends, their worst medical situation is a sinus infection or a 24 hr flu. And I kept thinking WHY ME….what did I do to deserve this. BUT then I changed that thinking……maybe this was my wake up call to be more realistic about my health and life. It could be worse, too. Looking at these little children that have terminal cancer and serious chronic diseases. At least I have made it to my 30’s!

    I say these things to let you know you are in the same boat as others. I get what you say, I do. BUT you cannot let it rule your life. I was mentioning a moment back when my daughter was maybe 1 yr old, around walking time, and I just looked at her and realized I have to stop letting melanoma control my life because I am missing out on all the good stuff. Yes, I am with her day in and day out but I wasn’t truly enjoying her as I should be. So do it for your children and your wife. FORCE yourself to push melanoma thoughts away. It is true stress can be just as damaging as a cancer.

    Hope you have a good weekend!

    Jenni

    #61146
    cohanja
    Participant

    congratulations on the twins; I have 3 year old twin girls, it’s a wild ride :D

    #61147
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    cohanja wrote:

    I don’t take offense, but I don’t think a counselor can remove the fact that I’m a young father with young kids who is looking at 5 and 10 year survival rates (a position I never imagined), and I’ve read numerous accounts of people who started just like me and then X years later they are battling Stage IV for their lives. If a counselor can remove that reality, then I’m all for it. I’m not obsessed about getting melanoma, I’m worried the melanoma I had will get me before my time.


    Just one more attempt at getting you to see the light: What you said above is not true, these are the realities you have chosen to believe, not any of it is your reality. You are have strewn together from facts from the internet to create a picture of doom and gloom. You do need counseling to get you back on track.

    #61148
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    You need counseling and soon, for you and your family’s sake. Here is the contact info: If the Helpline staff cannot find local support services and there is an immediate need for help, an APOS mental health counselor from the Helpline will continue to support them by phone while they seek professional help with coping in their community. Counseling sessions will be scheduled at the discretion of the Helpline counselor according to patient need.

    To request a confidential referral, please call: Toll Free 1-866-276-7443

    (1-866-APOS-4-HELP)

    You have constructed a reality based on loose facts you’ve found on the internet. Please get some help.

    #61149
    7spider
    Participant

    Believe it or not people are trying to help you. What’s wrong with a lil counseling ?

    #61150
    cohanja
    Participant

    I know my worry exceeds my risk here, I do, I get that. But, don’t totally discount the situation, it’s not just my own reality from the internet, it is actually real. My oncologist [who does specialize in melanoma] thought my risk was real enough last year when they saw something on a chest xray and immediately had me come back in for a CT scan because they thought it might be metastatic melanoma. If my risk was truly so nill, they would not have done that. That was a kick in the gutt and an eye opener to me, saying “hey, we’re all one Dr visit, one xray, one lump under the arm, etc. . away” from a very different place, and it can happen so quickly. That is the reality, not just my own made up reality. Now, how I deal with that reality is another topic, but that is the reality, I haven’t created it fictionally.

    #61151
    7spider
    Participant

    cohanja wrote:

    I know my worry exceeds my risk here, I do, I get that. But, don’t totally discount the situation, it’s not just my own reality from the internet, it is actually real. My oncologist [who does specialize in melanoma] thought my risk was real enough last year when they saw something on a chest xray and immediately had me come back in for a CT scan because they thought it might be metastatic melanoma. If my risk was truly so nill, they would not have done that. That was a kick in the gutt and an eye opener to me, saying “hey, we’re all one Dr visit, one xray, one lump under the arm, etc. . away” from a very different place, and it can happen so quickly. That is the reality, not just my own made up reality. Now, how I deal with that reality is another topic, but that is the reality, I haven’t created it fictionally.

    Unfortunately, That’s Life ,never know what your going to wake up with, walk in to, or even get run over by. So you accept it, deal w/ it and live your life or continue getting yourself sick over it. As long as you continue to not seek mental health care for yourself and problems, I feel you will exhaust some of the many people on here that have tried to help you out.

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