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June 19, 2014 at 6:22 pm #22045doris12Participant
Hello everyone ! I’ve come across this forum 2 weeks ago and I must say that it is a gift for all the patients and their family around the world. I’ve read many posts and have learned a lot, but also helped me to calm my mind a bit
My aunt has just recently been diagnosed with melanoma in situ, which was surgically removed and is now healing well. This came as a shock to us so my mother had a visit to a dermatologisr to check some of her moles that she was worried about. She doesn’t have any worrisome ones, except for an atypical one on her upper back.
Her derm checked it and he said that it doesn’t concern him at this point so he recommended monitoring it for change. My mother told him and me that she is aware of the risk for melanoma many years now and she has been conducting weekly self skin exams for years now. She told me that the atypical one hasn’t changed at all for the past 5-6 years.
But after my aunt’s diagnosis I am very worried so I conducted a search on the internet about dysplastic nevi and I got teriffied ! My mother’s I think is a little less than 20mm wide (but I haven’t measured it myself, she says it’s 15mm) and it has some spots of different colors, even though it is relatively symmetrical (except the colors), it has an oval ish shape and the borders aren’t fading into the skin. Now I know the doctor should know better than me, but can an atypical mole be this wide without being a melanoma ? Is it possible that it went unchanged for years and still be concerning at this point ?
I’m sorry for the long post, but it’s been 3 weeks since that visit and I just can’t concentrate on anything else. I’m thinking that my mother will have one too and that we won’t catch it early and I become paranoid ! Any answer will be useful ! Thank you in advance !!!June 22, 2014 at 11:02 am #64736Catherine PooleKeymaster
I hoped someone else might chime in, but just wanted to reassure you that dysplastic nevi aren’t a death sentence, they raise the risk of melanoma slightly. The best guard against melanoma caught at a risky stage is to have your skin examined regularly by yourself, your doctor and have photography taken of your body to look for any changes. There are a lot of folks with dysplastic nevi and it sounds like your family is being very vigilant.June 22, 2014 at 11:59 am #64737WorrywartParticipant Just breathe. It will be fine. It is obvious you love your mother very much! Many people have dysplastic nevi, they can remain unchanged for years. It is good that your mom has been watching her skin for change, which is a key factor in melanoma. With that said, even if the mole did change, that does not guarantee it’s a cancer, just something that needs checked out. If your mom is worried about this particular mole, she could have it removed – it is a Dr’s job to make her feel comfortable. I had several removed after my melanoma in situ dx, it put my mind to ease and gave me less spots to watch. Take care and enjoy your Sunday.June 25, 2014 at 12:41 am #64738doris12Participant Thank you both for your reassuring replies ! It has been an emotional time period and it has made me feeling scared all the time ! I want to say that the support and knowledge you all give to the patients and their families on this site are so valuable ! I wish everything goes well to everyone who has to deal with this terrible disease and fight it.
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