Young Adults with Melanoma

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Hello! This is my first time joining any sort of forum. I'm a 29 y/o female living in Washington State, and have had two melanoma in-situs since August 2015. My vigilance has luckily led to catching both early, and in 2014 as I have 100+ moles, I had photos taken of my body so I can compare. These came in handy in 2015, as I had a skin check with a new dermatologist which was clear, I went home and happened to catch a glimpse of a mole on my back that didn't look strange, but wasn't in my photos. I went back to the dermatologist, she removed it, and it was melanoma in-situ. I now have a long scar on my back that looks like I was stabbed, but feel lucky, and switched dermatologists.

Just when my new dermatologist said I should move from an appointment every three months out to six months, the shave biopsy she took resulted in another melanoma in situ. I had it excised with a derm surgeon, which came back as it being too close to the margin, so I'll have more taken out even though tomorrow I was to get the stitches out.

The two most complicated feelings I have are 1) how many other melanomas do I have on my body considering the number of moles and my genetic predisposition and 2) how can I minimize the scarring that I'm going to have as it impacts my self esteem?

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Good morning, I don't have answers to your questions. I think that melanoma is so unpredictable and you and your dermatologist are going to be the best at keeping track of these moles. I don't have answers about minimizing scarring either because my scars are quite large and I have learned that there a part of me and they tell a story, I guess. I have learned to accept

them and not worry what other people say. Or think. Because my melanoma metastasized my scars a pretty large. On my back, and my head, under my arms, and also one of my breast is smaller than the other one. I think it was something that took a while to accept but I'm OK with it. And I hope you become OK with it too. Because they are a part of you. I'm not saying you're going to be OK with melanoma because no one is! But I'm so glad that you've caught yours early!

Robyn

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I appreciate you posting this. I have similar concerns.

As for the scarring, I've heard topical silicone gels can help and laser treatment. I had surgery a couple of weeks ago. I'm going to talk to my dermatologist about these two options and if there are any others. I may try the gel in about 6 months. And I may look into laser treatments and "scar revision surgery" in about 12 months.

Otherwise, it's recommended to protect scars from the sun to reduce its appearance.

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Thank you. I have an appointment with a cosmetic dermatologist next week, I'll report back what I learn. I wonder if that strong Fraxel laser would be applicable here. I've used Mederma before on other small biopsies, hard to tell on effectiveness, however someone in my family just had a cosmetic procedure to remove neck fat which resulted in a huge scar and she has been using biocorneum amazon.com/bioCorneum-plus-... which has had great results! I just ordered.

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By the way, do you mind describing what your melanoma spots looked like? Was there anything distinct about them? Did you ask to have them biopsied or did your dermatologist recommend it? (Feel free to private message.)

I just had one spot removed. It was pretty textbook melanoma- asymmetrical, grown, borders, size. However, I had shown my dermatologist the spot 3 times over the last year and he didn't seem too concerned about it. On the last visit, I asked him to biopsy the spot. 2 days later I got a call that it was melanoma in situ. During the call, I told him I was concerned maybe we had missed another spot. He said, no, my other spots were fine.

Needless-to-say, I changed dermatologist and have my first appointment next month. It feels like forever away since I'm now wondering if my last dermatologist had missed a couple of spots.

I'm wondering- can it be difficult to determine if a spot is suspicious? What does a dermatologist see when they are looking at your spot with the special magnifying glass? Because I'm covered in spots. I don't want to risk a spot being cancerous, but I would prefer not to have each one biopsied unless deemed necessary.

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I had a mole on my right shoulder that for the longest time looked like a beauty mark to me. In February 2009 I noticed that instead of it being brown it had turned black. I actually went into my regular doctor and he also thought it looks suspicious and took it off and it was determined that it was melanoma. I have seen our dermatologist ever since. My dermatologist uses a derma scope and checks every mole looking through that device. I am actually not sure what it looks Like through the dermascope but he is very confident on what a regular mole Looks like and what a s uspicious one looks like but I trust him

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Thank you for sharing! I'm glad it was caught!

Do you recall how long you had the spot before it was biopsied? Can you describe the spot a little more? I may have something similar but on my leg. Was it flat or raised? How big was it?

I thought my melanoma spot on my arm just developed last year. But after I look back at my photos, it seems like it began to change 4 years ago and should have been considered suspicious 2 years ago.

I wonder how quickly a spot can become melanoma and start to grow deeper than "insitu".

I'm going to take pictures of all my spots so I can better track any changes. The pictures would be considered my baseline for comparison. I'm just hoping I don't have anymore undetected melanoma spots.

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It was flat. Tiny, probably half the size of an eraser tip, maybe smaller. All one color, but the border if I recall maybe used to be more circular, and the borders became irregular. I also wonder how quickly they grow. I've had this mole for as long as I can remember, I don't think it is new..

YES TAKE PICTURES. That is what saved me both times.

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Wow! That's amazing you caught it, being it was so small! Good job!!!

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woah... I need to see this guy.

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That is the exact experience I had! Told I was fine, pointed something out that wasn't fine, told the rest were fine, which is so unsettling. The first one didn't look suspicious, perfectly round mid brown, the only thing that was alarming was that a year prior when I had photos taken, it wasn't there at ALL. The second, my new dermatologist caught, it had, become more irregular with the borders, but was still quite small, appeared to be all one color, but was no longer circular. My dermatologist looked at it under the magnifying glass and wanted to a shave. She agreed at that point that it had changed, but unless she was covering up a hunch, didn't seem to think it was a big deal. So yes, the unpredictability and having melanomas that don't LOOK like melanomas is also my biggest fear, and I like you am scattered with moles, many of which look atypical but aren't changing.

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How did the appointment with the cosmetic dermatologist go?

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