Hi, Im a 20 year old female who regularly tans in the sun and in tanning salons. I have been doing so since I was about 14 years old. I have had a large swollen lymph node in my right armpit for the last two years. I visited both my family doctor and a surgeon and was told not to worry about it, and that it would go away on its on. I haven't been concerned about it at all until I recently read an article in Cosmopolitan magazine about a girl who died from a suntan at the age of 26. She had melanoma and didn't find out about it until it was to late. Example being, she developed a large swollen lymph node in her groin area. Later to discover she had early signs that were improperly diagnosed. After reading the article I did a mole exam on my body using the ABCD graph. I discovered a mole on the left side of my back which I have had for as long as I can remember, but I don't remember the jagged boarder around it. The boarder is a different color than the mole itself, and forms a wavy outline. So now with a strange mole on my back, and a very large (grape size) swollen lymph node in my armpit... I am starting to become concerned. Am I jumping to conclusions? Do swollen lymph nodes always get diagnosed so passively? Or can a doctor simply tell the difference just by looking? No biopsy was performed on either visit. Advice would be extremely helpful, I am planning on visiting a dermatologist. Are there certain things I need to specifically ask for to make sure it is properly diagnosed?
This swelling in your armpit could be a sebaceous cyst, lipoma (benign tumor) or an extra breast tissue.
If this is a swollen lymph node, it could be an initial sign of lymphoma or breast cancer (sometimes breast cancer changes can affect the armpit lymph nodes before the breast it self).
Since you have this bump for two years it is most likely something benign, but, it is very important to be checked for lymphoma (lymphoma can go unnoticed for long time, just giving swollen lymph nodes in neck or armpit accompanied with not specific symptoms like fatigue, feeling moody, low grade fever, loss of weight, night time sweating).
The description of the mole indicates need for a dermatologist's visit.
Using a dermatoscope your dermatologist will know if this mole is suspicious or not.
Ask your physician for a regular blood count test and it will be a good idea to get the armpit bump biopsied or cut off.
Please, please stop tanning, I can't stress how horrible it is. One of my favorite teachers ever is suffering from horrible skin cancer, very close to melanoma, and it was horrible to watch her go through. She would constantly have to miss class because she would have to get the cancer removed from parts of her body.
I hope that you went to a dermatologist, and that he or she performed a biopsy of the irregular mole. I was diagnosed with stage 2 malignant melanoma when I was 24. My melanomas were on my feet. The skin grafts were painful, but they saved my life.
I tell all of my friends to avoid tanning salons.
Melanoma is not caused by the sun. Studies done in the military show that sailors who never saw sunlight got more melanoma and even in areas that had no light exposure. Melanoma has a viral origin. You need to keep your vitamin D3 levels above 50. If you already have had melanoma keep them in the 70 to 90 range.
melanoma the meanie and lost in lympholand help anyone?
Yes, this is true from my personal experience with what I am going through now, from all of my years tanning and burning badly first before tanning well when i was younger, you know how that is with darker skinned females in the summer! I have melanoma now and have found that I am experiencing issues with my lymph nodes that the previous 3 emergency room visits they simply brushed it off as something called lymphodema and gave me antibiotics which did not work or ease any pain or soreness in the area on my neck, something does not seem right and I am praying it has not spread from the melanoma tumor that has been removed from my back to anywhere else to my lymphatic system. My lymph nodes have been swollen without pain for about 12 years now it has only been recently that there has been pain swelling and soreness to the touch with trouble swallowing as well with no alleviation of symtoms from antibiotics. So this tells me its viral but the viral aspects do not go away either. Any suggestions please. I just finished up having a TIA two weekends ago, and I am concerned for furthering medical diagnosis and issues and what the best course of action is since recently moving back to a state that actually has medical care that is not archaic. I would greatly appreciate any input, and God bless your help and suggestions from those more informed than me, My 14 year old son is counting on me, I am all he has. Blessings.