Home Forums Melanoma: Newly Diagnosed – Stages I & II Trouble with Monthly Skin Exams

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    I have had three melanoma in-situs since July 2010 and about 10 other excisions for severely atypical moles. I have gone 13 months without an excision… YAY! I’ve been seen yearly at the pigmented lesion clinic (2 times) at a teaching university and have had the full body photography as recommended. The doctor at the clinic was very specific on how important monthly skin exams are. He said my partner should be checking my body closely and comparing with the photos and specifically palpitating my scar and looking for changes there. He even said it may take several hours at first. My problem is that my husband is not really willing to participate in this fully (I’m lucky to get a 1 minute look at my back monthly) and I really don’t have anyone else who I can ask to do such an delicate job. I am feeling helpless. ‘I can check pretty much everywhere but my back but my back is my problem area. I have had two melanomas there as well as nine severely atypical moles with excisions. About a month ago I started having severe itching on my back and asked my husband to take a look. He said it looked like a pimple. He said my moles looked fine. As I was trying to itch it last night I scratched off a scab. I had my husband look again and he said it was still like a pimple. It’s location is at the top of my melanoma excision scar. It was only melanoma in-situ. I called my dermatologist office today and he wants me to come in tomorrow morning. I’m comforted by the response but am really affected by my husbands lack of compassion and help. I’m embarrassed to tell the doctors that I really don’t have anyone to check my back.

    I just wonder if anyone else has that problem. I’ve gotten the pictures but don’t have anyone who cares enough to spend the time to really check out my back carefully. I feel like I should stop going to the pigmented lesion clinic because they pretty much counsel you on what needs to be done and I can’t do it. Feeling sad and helpless. Any suggestions on how to do body checks without assistance.

    Hoping all turns out well tomorrow as I know it probably will. I am aware that melanoma in-situ does not spread once removed. I’m really just feeling deserted by my husband who is supposed to love me.



    Your husband does not care enough for you to spend a few minutes checking your back -and potentially saving your life? That’s a problem. He doesn’t sound like much of a husband, sorry. I think I’d find a new one!

    With that said, there are many people who are single and don’t have someone to ‘check their back’. I use a mirror sometimes – just sit on the sink and open the medicine cabinet mirror – or a hand held mirror.


    hi trish,

    sorry youre feeling like this.

    could your husband take a couple of photos of your back each month so you can sit and compare them with your original photos? at least until you can find someone to help you?

    my problem area is mainly my back too. it used to cause me much anxiety that i couldnt physically look for myself. now i use mirrors and photos. my husband looks too if i ask but i want to look for myself… just in case!

    kind regards




    Hi Trish.

    You are in a tough spot. I think Jane’s suggestion is a good one. If your husband can take photos for you then you can compare any changes between the updated and older photos.

    I am not trying to make excuses for your husband but he may just be in denial about the seriousness of your diagnosis because he can’t handle it.

    Unfortunately we cannot get inside others heads to determine why people do what they do.

    I hope Jane’s suggestion works for you.

    Take care.

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