Dermatology Expert Forum
unusual moles
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions regarding Dermatology issues, such as: rashes, acne, birthmarks, skin infections, rosacea, and general skin care. All questions will be answered by a medical professional.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

unusual moles

I am a 37yr. female. I have very fair skin, blue eyes, red hair. I have had numerous bad sunburns as a child and teenager.  There is skin cancer in my family as well.
I have always had some moles, and never had them checked.  Recently, I have noticed new moles on my back, and breast.  I noticed the ones on my back because the same area is always itchy and when I looked I noticed three moles in close proximity.  They all seem to have irregular borders and different color tones, mostly light brown with black growing down.  Most of my moles seem to be following this same pattern.  I think the one on my breast is normal because the shape is round, however there is a little black beginning to show up.  Also, as I was reading some previous posts I noticed someone mentioned black under the toenail.  Underneath my big toenail has been black for almost a year. The size hasn't changed.  It is about the size of a nickel. Is this something to be concerned about?  I never thought much of it.
I have an appointment to see a dermatolgist at the end of Febuary.  I do not have a clue as to how long it is safe to wait before having these moles checked.
Questions:
Is it okay to wait until Febuary?
Is it possible for more than one mole to become cancerous at a time?
Does the description sound suspicious for anything in particular?
Any advice would be helpful.
In all I have 5 moles on my upper torso the size of a pencil eraser or larger that have a slightly suspicious appearance (to me).
Thank you for your time.
Related Discussions
242489_tn?1210500813
The fact that you have several moles or spots makes it much more unlikely that any of them amounts to anything other than moles or freckles from prior sunburns.  Although I doubt that waiting till February is a problem, it would be good for your peace of mind if you could arrange to be seen sooner, if you can, either in the same office or elsewhere....

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
7 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I doubt  they are cancerous. My Dermatologis / Researcher told me that the average person has about 14 slightly atypical moles  (looks wise)...he might want to take one off and biopsy it. But they seem harmless. Cancerous moles usually have red in it too.

Dr. Rockoff can comment more.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Dr Rockoff,
Thanks so much if you read this. Could you tell me if I should be concerned about the nickel size bruise under my big toe.  I ve had it over a year and it has not grown out with the nail.
Thanks.
Blank
108944_tn?1222281078
last nov. my husband and i went for are yerly physical.she asked if we had any concerns. i showed her a spot on his left breast.when in doudt have a biopsy done on it she said. she took it off then.a week later we got the call melinoma.we had to see a surgen 3 operations later we think we are ok.he had stage 3 melenoma it speads very rapidly.we took the month of feb. back and forth every day to the hospital for chemo.i now give him a shot on m,tue,&w.the spot was small and changed fast . please have all moles cheaked.they can be very serious.my husband  also has fair skin blue eyes & blond hair.
im not trying to scare you just trying to inform you .
Blank
108944_tn?1222281078
i was just wondering if you have had your moles chacked yet?i hope every thing is well for you.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi Sallie1,
Thanks so much for your concern, and I am sorry to hear what your poor husband went through.  I hope he is okay now.  Last week when I was in to see my GP, I had him look at the moles.  He said he thought they were okay, but encouraged me to see the dermatologist to make sure.  I told him my appointment was in Feb. and he said that was okay.  So, for now I feel a little relieved but not totally until I see the dermatologist.  
I did not show the doc. my toenail or all the moles.  Just a couple.  
Thanks again for asking.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I've just read your original posting containing the concerns you have regarding the moles that you have noticed. You made a statement towards the end of your posting along the lines of: "In all, I have 5 moles on my torso that look slightly suspicious to me..."  What is it that makes them look slightly suspicious to you? I do not mean to be an alarmist, but from all the research I have done within the last five months, the description that you gave for the moles on your back contain four of the warning signs for skin cancer; according to what I have learned recently. They are: irregular borders, the brown/black coloring, itching, and the fact that they have just sprung up.  The "growing down" aspect is something I am currently researching - it seems as though skin cancers contain many different types of cancer cells, and they show all different types of growing patterns - such as lateral (which is sideways) growth, vertical growth, etc.  I have no specific knowledge of "growing down", but it warrants looking into.  As well, your physical attributes as you described them in addition to you saying you were sunburn numerous times as a child puts you in a high-risk category for contracting skin cancer as an adult.  The only things missing are: are you of European descent, and did you live near the Equator as a child? What I have learned about this type of information is that the individuals that are at high-risk for showing up with skin cancer as an adult are those described as having:  light-colored skin, light-colored (especially blue) eyes, light-colored hair, and being of European descent. And as a child, received bad sunburns more than three times, and lived near the Equator as a child receiving those sunburns.  The more of these one can answer "yes" to, the more at risk one is.  As relating to onset of skin cancer for adults in this category, though, it is written that the skin cancer usually starts popping up in the adult's fourth, fifth, or sixth decade of life; meaning, when the adult in it's forties, fifties, or sixties years of age. All of this information I have gleaned from various sources of information - a good bit of it I obtained from medical books at the medical reference library for physicians at the hospital that is across the street from the clinic where I was recently diagnosed and treated for various skin cancers (within the last six months or so).  I am a 54-year old female of European descent, I have very fair skin, blue eyes, brown hair, and I grew up in south Florida (Ft. Lauderdale, to be exact), which is very near the Equator, and I was probably sunburned more than twenty times as a child!  I've got every risk factor one can have except the hair color.  My first skin cancer lesion showed up about four years ago, but I never actually had it removed until about five months ago because the first doctors I showed it to said it "probably wasn't cancer", even though it actually did present with two of the warning signs - had they known about or delved into my childhood history, that would have been enough to put an alarm on it.  When it continued to grow and got to the point of becoming unsightly, I finally went to have it removed - the community hospital referred me out to a dermatologist, who removed it and had it biopsied. It came back as "Basal Cell Carcinoma To The Margins" - when they called me and told me, I was shocked - I honestly didn't even entertain the thought it had been cancer because of the first general practitioners that had looked at it and downplayed it and because of my lack of knowledge about cancer at the time.  Since then,I have immersed myself in the subject, and please take advantage of the knowledge I now possess and take the growths that have recently sprung up on you seriously ... I personally think from all the information you've given that they could be skin cancer, and they should be check immediately. The coloring of brown towards black really concerns me, and I would not wait until February. My mole lesion was the same color as my skin-tone, and coloring suggests the type of cancer, generally speaking; they say. Basal-Cell Carcinoma is a very slow-growing cancer that rarely infiltrates other areas of the body, so providing the biopsy report was correct, I am extremely fortunate, considering the time that lapsed from it's appearance until I had it removed. It is written that growths that are dark-colored are ones that should be tended to more quickly. I honestly do not mean to alarm you, but it is better to be safe than sorry, and if it is cancer, you'll get a head start on it by removing it's ability to infiltrate. If it isn't cancer, that's a wonderful thing, and you can let us all know that perhaps the information that's out there is not always correct. I urge you to expedite getting any treatment that's necessary and call for and INSIST upon an appointment as soon as possible. I must go back and have the area where the growth was located (on my eyelid) re-opened and have more tissue removed to insure that all of the cancer cells get located and removed or it will continue to grow within me; and unbeknownst to me - yikes!  I have chosen to get "Mohs Micrographic Surgery" because of the delicate location where tissue conservation is most important.  I've located a "Mohs" surgeon at Stanford University to do the surgery and go for it in January.  I strongly urge you to start going to the library and start learning everything you can about skin cancer, and go with what your heart and mind tells you - you are most capable of learning and knowing what is best for you. Take care; Sandra
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, melanoma was started.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
563773_tn?1374250139
Bhupinder Kaur, MDBlank
Private practice
,
351246_tn?1379685732
Dr. Kokil MathurBlank
Consultant
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
How to Silence Your Inner Critic an...
Apr 16 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank