First published in 2010.
If you have a mole that looks like one of these, and you do not go to a board certified dermatologist and have it removed with a proper excision where the mole is CUT out, and at least a quarter of an inch of tissue is removed all around it YOU WILL DIE.
Melanoma is one of the deadliest of cancers. It is also one of the most curable – if you catch it early – the way I did.
Do you know the ABC’s of Melanoma?
A– Asymmetry, One half unlike the other half .
B– Border Irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.
C-Color, Varied from one area to another: shades of tan and brown , black: sometimes white, red or blue.
D– Diameter, While melanomas are usually greater than 6mm in diameter(the size of an eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller. If you notice a mole that is different from others, or which changes, itches or bleeds (even if it is small) you should see a dermatologist.
E– Evolve, If you see your mole changes in any way over a period of time contact a dermatologist.
Other Warning Signs:
• The appearance of a new bump or nodule
• Color spreads into surrounding skin
• redness or swelling beyond the mole
• scaly appearance
On Friday, The Pink Flamingo did the six months melanoma check-up thingie. I was diagnosed with an in-situ melanoma in 1997. After having at least a dozen potential dangerous mole removed over the past decade, my derm says there’s not much left that could attract another melanoma primary.
The previous evening I received an email from a friend requesting prayer for her husband’s former wife. She had been placed in hospice in the last stages of melanoma – brain cancer.
It is a horrible death.
It is also a very avoidable death.
On Friday my derm told me that, if melanoma is caught early there is a 100% – that is 100% CURE RATE!
Most insurance plans do not pay for basic derm checkups. Mine doesn’t. Who knows what will happen in the future. All I know is it is a heck of a lot easier to shell out $69 every six months and be cancer free.
How do you stop melanoma?
“…The first sign of melanoma is often a change in the size, shape, or color of a mole. But melanoma can also appear on the body as a new mole.
In men, melanoma most often shows up:
on the upper body, between the shoulders and hips
on the head and neck
In women, melanoma often develops on the lower legs.
In dark-skinned people, melanoma often appears:
under the fingernails or toenails
on the palms of the hands
on the soles of the feet…”
You learn the warning signs.
You have a six months skin check-up – every six months of your life – without fail.
Are you at risk:
“…1. Has anyone in your family ever had melanoma?
2. Do you now have, or have you ever had, non-
cancerous, but unusual looking moles?
3. Have you been diagnosed with melanoma in the past?
4. Are you taking any medications that might weaken
your immune system (for example, corticosteroids)?
5. Do you have more than 50 ordinary moles?
6. Did you have one or more severe, blistering sunburns
as a child or teenager?
7. Do you have many freckles?
8. Do you have fair skin and light eyes?
9. Do you live in the Southwestern United States?
10. Do you frequently spend time in the sun between
10 AM and 4 PM without skin protection?…”