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September 5, 2013 at 8:33 pm #21561naomistarrParticipant
I lost my grandfather to melanoma in 2004 and just lost my 29 year old cousin to it in March. My cousin got melanoma for the first time when he was 17 and it came back when he was 26 and then got lymphoma at 29. In January, I got a little worried about a mole on my back and had it removed. The results came back mildly atypical. Now, eight months later, I keep getting these stabbing pains in and around it and while there is no physical change, I can’t help but worry. Additionally, I have three more moles that have not changed but I’m still getting them removed in a couple of months.
With all of that said, I am freaking out.
Cancer (especially melanoma) has become my greatest fear and it rules my mind. I was recently even reduced to panic attacks just thinking about what it might be like to be diagnosed. Even as I write this my hands are shaking and I’m almost in tears for no good reason aside from fear. Side note: I’m 23.
My questions are these:
Is anyone else going through this? This irrational fear and anxiety over every mole on their body?
Once a mole is removed, if it was not cancerous, what are the chances of that area becoming cancerous? What would that even look like?
Thanks for your time.September 5, 2013 at 8:50 pm #62416Catherine PooleKeymaster
You have come to the right place! All of us have experienced this fear/anxiety at one time or another. Try not to be so hard on yourself, it is normal and natural. I would consider counseling to help you avoid further panic attacks, which can be debilitating and keep you from enjoying life. Try this free helpline for a counselor: http://www.apos-society.org/survivors/helpline/helpline.aspx
You may also try anti depressants or anti anxiety meds for short term relief. I’m sure you will hear from others here and what has helped them. Mindful meditation is also a very useful tool to consider doing daily.September 6, 2013 at 12:18 am #62417WorrywartParticipant
I am sorry you lost your grandfather and cousin. I also lost my cousin to lymphoma when he was 13 and my grandfather had melanoma twice, but died from head/neck cancer. I was dx with melanoma in situ when I was 34. You are very aware for your age. I was the opposite of a hypochondriac in my 20s….i didn’t worry about a thing ever and abused my body and skin for years. Because you are so aware, if anything does pop up you will catch it early – BUT just bc your grandpa had melanoma does not mean you will EVER get it. I have 27 cousins and I’m the only one who has had it!
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