Melanoma is very curable, these days - certainly, not the death sentence that it once was. If she follows her doctor’s instructions, she will come out of it just fine. As I understand it, the treatments for it involve day trips to a clinic; she won’t be in the hospital at all.
I think we should be very clear, as we don’t want people to take melanoma lightly. IF CAUGHT EARLY it is highly curable. That’s why we should all do skin checks, all over, periodically and see a dermatologist immediately if something looks suspicious.
Warning signs: 1) asymmetry (two halves of mole do not match) 2) uneven, irregular border 3) size; usually 1/4 in or larger, though may be smaller when detected 4) color; several different colors or shades - black, blue, red, brown, tan 5) change in a mole (growing, changing colors, etc.)
It is imperative that we use sunscreen, avoid long periods of sun exposure, etc. Fair skinned people, especially if they have had severe sunburn, those with 100 or more moles, fair skinned people who live in hot areas…all these are more at risk.
I’ll be praying for your cousin, SDMom. God bless.
I question the wisdom of a family doctor (or primary care doc) causing such a scare. Why not say that something looks suspicious and send her to a dermatologist? Why throw out the word melanoma when nothing is confirmed? The poor woman must be stressed out, when in fact, there may be nothing wrong.
Yes! She is VERY stressed out! She called me today from work and was crying hysterically, saying she could hardly function. Her primary Dr. did say he thought it was melanoma and has referred her to a dermatologist. It is this “wait and see” period - along with the “possibility” of it being melanoma - that is really stressing her out.
Thank you all for your posts so far. And thanks to all who have offered prayers.
May God bless you all abundantly with peace, happiness, and joy!
I’ve had several moles removed, one which turned out to be “pre-cancerous” (the cancer cells were there, just not enough to be considered cancer). When the biopsy came back with this info, my dermatologist had me come in to remove a little more around the incision. It came back negative, so they had removed everything just fine, no other treatments. My brother went through the same procedures, two moles, one on each side of his head. He is fine too. We do go in for check ups yearly because of family history.
You know, the only thing you can do is reassure her that treatment is very successful. My sister was diagnosed with a very bad kind of melanoma and after two 8-wk treatments of chemo pills she’s cancer free. They found the cancer and 4 months later she was cancer free. So far, she’s still cancer free. This happened last yr.
ETA: I also had a mole removed. My doctor thought it was going to be the worst kind of skin cancer since there was a white halo around the mole. I was referred to the dermatologist and the derm remoced it, sent it to the lab and it was cancer free. I was a wreck at first, but my mom reassured me that it’s curable and she always made sure to ask me if I needed anything.
Oh, and my grandpa has had melanoma for yrs and yrs but all he needs as treatment is liquid nitrogen to remove the moles and he’s cancer free. But my grandpa’s cancer is the kind where moles grow on his face out of nowhere and if left untreated, it can turn malignant. His nephew had malignant skin cancer but once he had a biopsy, it was gone.