Visit to the Dermatologist

21 Jan



As you my remember, I was diagnosed with melanoma, my first melanoma was 12 years ago.  Now I visit the dermatologist twice a year and today day is the day!  Woohoo!

What are the signs and symptoms of skin cancer?

The first sign that something was wrong was J noticing a strange looking mole on my back.  Now I have a lot of moles.  But this one was different, its size and shape, plus its color was different than any other mole on my body.

J told me I needed to see a doctor, she being a nurse, I didn’t listen.  I put it off as guys do.  But it met the warning sign of skin cancer:

Unusual moles, sores, lumps blemish or changes in the way an area of skin looks or feels.

How do I check myself?

The ABCDE rule is a guide to the usual signs of melanoma. Be on the lookout and tell your doctor about spots that have any of the following features:

A is for Asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
B is for Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
C is for Color: The color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
D is for Diameter: The spot is larger than 6 millimeters across (about ¼ inch – the size of a pencil eraser), although melanomas can sometimes be smaller than this.
E is for Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.
Some melanomas do not fit the rules described above. It is important to tell your doctor about any changes or new spots on the skin, or growths that look different from the rest of your moles.

My Report

When I finally did see the dermatologist, I knew something was wrong when the doctor asked the nurse to get the camera and he asked me if he could take a picture of my mole.  Couple that with the nurse asking the doctor “how do you spell the name of that thing on his back…” Never a good sign.  That was 12 years ago.

After several surgeries, treatment and worries, I have been cancer free for 5 years, now.  This visit I had a full body scan where the doctor looks everywhere and I mean Everywhere!  I’m glad to report, the doctor didn’t find anything, so I’m good for another 6 months. Thank God!



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