Hello. I am so terrified, I can barely eat, sleep or even think.
My story: I became aware of a mole on the back of my neck about twelve years ago. I discovered it one day getting my hair cut, as the stylist kept going over it with the comb. I didn't really pay much attention to it because my body is covered in moles, many of them atypical. My memory of it seems to be that it was a small (no larger than 1/8 inch) and brown to dark brown in color.
Then about six months to a year ago, I was rubbing the back of my neck and felt the mole. It felt weird. Kind of rough in texture. Later, I looked at it in the mirror and noticed that it "seemed" bigger than I had remembered, and perhaps a bit darker. I was not alarmed though.
Now here is where my panic sets in. I knew nothing about melanoma. Nothing at all. I am blond and blue eyed, fair skinned, I don't tan and amcovered in freckles and weird moles and I just thought, well, there's another weird mole. And I moved on.
It was not until a family member saw it two weeks ago and said "You need to get that looked at" that I started to read up on skin cancer.. and I am terrified. I am convinced that it is melanoma (because of its texture mainly) and that I didn't go in right away all those months ago with my vague impression that the mole had changed.
I've made an appointment with a family practice doctor (I can't see a dermatologist without a referral), and it's for next Wednesday... but I have convinced myself that
1. It's melanoma
2. Because I waited so long, it's too late
3. that the "lump" I felt over my collarbone 8 months ago, that the ultrasound tech said was just a vein over a tendon, was really something more ominous.
I keep searching for other reason this mole is the way it is. Is it possible that the mole is strangely textured because it's been brushed over several times at the salon? I keep hoping that's all it is!
My family keeps telling me I'm crazy, that it's just a mole and moles change. To get it looked at, but it's 99% nothing. On the 1% chance that it's nothing, it will get fixed, end of story. And I keep telling them, it got bigger, it got darker, it changed in texture, and I've waited too long.
I don't know if I am writing all of this to vent and feel better, or to have someone give me some advice from experience.
How old are you? After age 35, it is rare to develop new moles or to experience growth in older moles. Normal moles rarely increase in size in adulthood and any growth of 5 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser) or more should be checked out by a doctor.
Does it have uneven or indistinct edges? Does it have different shades of color? Does it bleed or itch?
You've mentioned that you have atypical moles (dysplastic moles) that are different than regular moles. They are bigger than ordinary ones, have irregular borders, different shades of color, rough texture but all of these characteristics are found in melanoma, too. In other words, they often look very much like melanoma.
Dysplastic moles are found most frequently on the back and areas exposed to the sun and more likely than normal moles to develop into melanoma. That's why people with dysplastic moles must have frequent checkups (every 3 to 6 months, at least once a year) To ease you mind I'll noted that a slight majority of melanomas do not form in an existing mole.
There are great chances this to be only atypical mole that'll require medical attention and frequent check ups(many doctors are excising dysplastic moles to avoid the risk of developing melanoma)
Don't stress too much!
It's not helping at all.
Please, inform me about your following appointment!
Thinking of you!
I'm sorry, I should have posted a reply. It drives me nuts when I look up things on medical forums and never find out what happend to the person, and here I am guilty of it myself.
OK... so I went to the dermatologist. He told me it was a seborrheic keratosis and froze it off. A week later, I went back and told him that I had really wanted it biopsied, and I wouldn't feel comfortable without knowing for certain. He was very nice and understood my need to know. He removed what was left of it and sent it to the lab, where they confirmed it was a keratosis.
There will probably always be a little nagging thought that it was a false negative because the specimen had been altered, but that's just me being a worrier. I have some swollen lymph nodes in my neck now that are causing me to be even more focused on the area. But I'm seeing a doctor who says she isn't worried and is counseling me to "wait and see" so.. I am trying to be calm
If something like this ever occurs again, I will go with my gut instinct first and have the doc biopsy it.
I have 2 or 3 moles on my neck and 1 mole growing on my face there little and brown but there not round there more of a pointy shape....when i had my first weird looking mole i went to the Doctor and she used this freezing thing to cut it off..i worry i hope it's not skin cancer but the doctor didn't say anything