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Skin cancer? Help please, very worried
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Skin cancer? Help please, very worried

Hello,

I have a mark that has appeared on my arm in the past two months.  I am not sure exactly when it appeared, but I know it was not there when I was on holiday at the end of July.

I guess it looks like a mole, but is a funny shape, a bit like a 'tear drop' but not as neat. It is a pale brown colour, like that of a normal mole, but sightly pink at the wider end. It was completely flat, but over the past week, the wider, pinker area has raised slightly, like there is a spot forming underneath but has not emerged. It is about 4.5mm in length. It does not hurt or bleed, itch, nor is it flaky or dry.  I am only aware of it as I can see it.  

I am very worried about it as I used to go on sun beds in my early twenties and live in fear of the damage it may have caused. I am 31 now. I have booked a doctors appointment for late next week, but it's worrying me so much I cannot sleep which is why I have joined this forum. I am convinced it's something nasty. I know your advice will be to just get it checked by the doctor, but what I want to know from you is: when this type of mole comes up, it's it more likely to be skin cancer than not? Or can something of this description, that just crops up, still turn out to be harmless?  I.e, if you have a mole that perfectly fits the 'ABCD' criteria, does that automatically mean it's going to be cancerous? Or can people have moles that fit the ABCD criteria but turn out to be benign?

Would love some advice please. Thank you very much.
563773_tn?1374250139
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.

I can understand your concern for the tear drop shaped mole.
The lesion that you are having can be a normal mole or even an atypical mole. Atypical moles are unusual benign moles that may resemble melanoma but are benign in nature. Hence they can be moles resembling melanoma but generally are not.

People who have them are at increased risk of developing single or multiple melanomas but not all atypical moles develop into melanoma. The prescursors for such moles turning into melanoma include giant congenital melanocytic nevus and small to medium-sized congenital melanocytic nevus.

Basically these moles are bigger than the normal moles, may have irregular and indistinct borders, color may not be uniform which range from light pink to very dark brown. They usually begin as flat, but parts may rise above the skin surface. It is very difficult to confirm whether they are atypical moles or melanoma and differentiate them from seborrheic keratosis, lentigo senilis, and even warts.

However a dermatologist can diagnose it by examination and dermatoscopy. If it is suspected to be a melanoma or even an atypical mole, a skin biopsy is usually done to best diagnose it.

Hope that this information helps and hope that you will get better soon.

Wishing you good health.






5 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your comment.  What about if an atypical mole appears suddenly, in two months, with all the ABCD symptoms?  Can it then still turn out to be benign?  Or is that pretty much a guaranteed skin cancer situation?

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Avatar_f_tn
Do I only get one reply then?!  I paid $15
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a mole appear on the underside of my forearm. The part of the arm if we are tanning in natural sun have go out of our way to get the sunlight to tan us there otherwise it's the area of the arm that is normally not tan. I was told the moles don't appear in a place that's been tanned or burned in our life. I was shocked mine was in an area that I rarely tanned. But I had burned severely at age 14 when I visited California as a Michigan resident. Third degree from the sun but I let sun get to skin my suits previously covered. That is not where my mole appeared which was my misconception. In my 20's I ignored it thought it was a beauty mark yet it had not been there always and increased in size. I had the mentality back then of it's nothing but becoming. In my early 30's a new doctor I was seeing noticed it right away and this was not his field of expertise at all so I owed him a sincere "thank you" since he set up my appointment after finding out as we talked I had ignored it. It was perfect, not rough edges and not the typical look of Melanoma. I had a biopsy done and it came back Melanoma after 2 different Universities tested it to make sure that both Pathologists agreed. I then had to go through surgery and 5 centimeters in each direction was excised. In the opinion of both Universities they were very confident this went beyond the margins of where the cancer cells would be. I was very lucky having ignored it for so long that it had not gotten into any other area or into my system. Afterwards, for the first year I was seen every 3 months making sure no recurrence the second year every 6 months and since yearly, unless I have something appear on my skin that didn't exist prior. After 30 years approx, I now have a tumor (Dr. called it that) I called it a bump, I discovered it when wiping tears with a paper towel, a bit rough so it began to bleed. I only discovered it then. I am waiting for doctors to decide how to remove it since I'm now a Thrombophilliac that takes low molecular Heparin daily by injection to stop the clotting. IMO their not getting this removed in a timely manner. Melanoma has changed as far as what to have checked out. My father had many marks of flat brown areas removed that were precancerous and numerous that were Melanoma all from his facial area. I would say after my cousin has been severely affected with Melanoma and is fighting for his life I would have a biopsy. They are painless, the numbing of the area is the uncomfortable part. Melanoma life expectancy is short if it takes hold. I would personally get it checked. If your doctor says no b/c it doesn't look typical my opinion would be to find a doctor that takes it serious and is informed that Melanoma over the years is not just the dark black moles with irregular edges. With your tanning history that is another reason to be vigilant. I'm hoping you've already had a biopsy since I just joined the site and seen your question most likely due to how I answered my health ?s in my profile. Good luck and I really hope it's not cancerous but ignoring now a days with all the great treatment, early detection is important. I ignored mine. Actually I may of avoided the surgery had I had the mole removed when it appeared.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm wondering why you paid? I seen nothing in the terms of service about any fees. Maybe you could inform me if there is something about this site that's not clearly stated that allowed them to charge you a fee. An explanation would be very beneficial and appreciated. I joined for the support and in common health issues that I don't like bothering the people that really could give a hoot in my life. I figured here it's known as a area of forums and looks like even chat rooms that is all medical related. Those I've not yet come across since I just joined the site. If there is a fee, there's to many sites that are similar that are free.To pay that per post isn't something I'd do or signed up for. Hoping my reading of the terms of service it wasn't hidden that there's a fee for any part of the site, questions or comments. Just my opinion, I understand others may differ.
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