Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stages I &II multiple melanoma

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  • #20975
    tlmccann
    Participant

    Hello again. In June 2012 I was diagnosed with my first in-situ. Had it excised and moved on hoping I was one of the ‘lucky’ ones to have only one non-invasive melanoma. Yesterday, I learned that I now have my second in-situ and will have it excised very soon. I’ve been poring over the internet reading about abnormal mole syndrome and the relationship with other cancers. Yes, I’m thankful that both lesions are in-situ but feel tortured when I look at my 100+ moles, and feel that my time is limited. Also, I have two children that have my skin. I feel extremely saddenend and anxious looking at my kids, thinking what they may have to endure.

    If anyone has a similar experience like I’ve described and has some motiviating words for me, I’d greatly appreciate them right now.

    I’m thankful for this forum, but am soooo ‘not comfortable in my own skin’.

    #58879
    Catherine Poole
    Keymaster

    I can imagine your anxiety, and actually have a husband with your skin type, he has a lot of dysplastic nevi, too many to count. He is followed regularly and has had whole body photography to follow his skin most accurately. All in your family would benefit from the whole body photography. Have you looked into this? It is the best piece of mind since no one including your doctor can remember what was there before and whether there was change. Congrats on finding both moles so early! That means you are doing an excellent job of examining your skin.

    #58880
    rdmstm
    Participant

    Yes, I have photographs of myself that were taken 2 years ago. Both my children are scheduled for body scans at my dermatologist so I will discuss having their photos taken. Thank you for your reply Catherine :)

    #58881
    AngelaM
    Participant

    I have had 3 melanomas. Oct 09 in-situ, Jan 11 stage 1a, Oct 11 stage 1a. That’s 3 in 2 years. I’ve got more moles than I can count, and that’s after about 60 have already been removed. I have photography done and I see my derm every 8 weeks.

    Between Oct 11 and now my skin has been fairly stable. Only 2 mildly atypical moles, but nothing else. According to my doctors, patients with multiples do well if they are closely monitored and everything is caught early. Your prognosis is only as bad as your deepest melanoma. They also tell me that in their experience, patients that get multiple primaries seem to do so over a numbers of years and then it can stop i.e. you can just stop getting them. In my case they remove anything that looks ‘iffy’ and anything that’s new because I tend to get the de novo type. I know this because of the photography.

    Anyway, I suppose my message to you is that provided you remain vigilant you will be fine. In-situ melanomas can’t spread, and you know you’ll catch any new ones before they do, so you are in a very fortunate position. It’s the people that aren’t aware that are actually at the greatest risk! I often stand in queues and look at the moles on the person standing in front of me with a bright red sunburn and wonder if they are aware of melanomas!

    #58882
    cohanja
    Participant

    My question is how fast does this happen? I’ve read melanoma can takes years to become invasive. So, if I saw a Derm every month or every 2 months or every 3 months or every 6 months, if they were to catch anything, how different would it be at 3 months from 1 month, etc.. ?

    #58883
    AngelaM
    Participant

    Cohanja,

    I have also asked my derm that question, and she said that they don’t know the answer because of many reasons. Firstly, if she finds something that she suspects to be an in-situ melanoma or a severely dysplastic mole then she’s not going to leave it and tell the person to come back in 6 months time. She’s going to remove it immediately. She therefore has no way of knowing how long it would have taken to become deep enough to spread (if it wasn’t already to begin with – which she also has no way of knowing unless she removes it!) Secondly, everyone is different, and people’s immune systems deal with cancer in different ways. I know for a fact that my first melanoma had come up at least a year before it was diagnosed (I was ignorant) and the path reported stated it to be an “early in-situ SSM”. I also know for a fact that my third melanoma was not there in June, and by October it had grown to 0.45mm Clark III. That’s only four months!

    That’s just my experience, but maybe there are doctors out there with more definitive answers …

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