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Borderline early melanoma

(24 Posts)
LCRLCR Thu 22-Sep-11 12:42:05

Hi - I have Bupa health insurance through my employer and just before returning to work from Maternity leave, I had a health assessment. A tiny dark mole on my right calf caught the doctor's eye so I was referred to a dermatolgist and removed it. At my follow-up appointment, she told me that the mole had been sent on for further analysis as it was showing atypical characteristics but didn't tick all the boxes to be a melanoma. Today 2 weeks later another call to say that while it probably isn't a melanoma, the mole was very atypical so it would be treated as a borderline early melanoma and in 3 weeks, I am to have a wider excision of the area.

I am a little freaked out and am struggling with the vagueness (the maybes and probablys). I am also aware that melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer - has anyone else been through this? Presumably any further tissue that is removed will also be tested? Will I need any scans etc? Further follow-ups? I am very fair and burn easily but am definitely not a sun-worshipper so i am finding this all upsetting and frightening.

Thanks for any words of wisdom x

HattiFattner Thu 22-Sep-11 12:45:43

i had a pre-melanoma as you describe - abnormal cells in a mole. They cut it away, then I went back and had a bigger incision. They tested this and found no other abnormal cells.

I have to keep an eye on my skin and make sure I do not burn in future, but there were no other issues.

Iamseeingstars Thu 22-Sep-11 21:53:09

Dont have personal experience but very aware of melanoma. Now you have had this mole identified you will need to keep a very close eye on the rest of your body and take action immediately if you notice anything

The doctors should be advising you, but have a look at the cancer sites and see if there is information on there, some of the sites are very informative and helpful

issynoko Thu 22-Sep-11 22:01:50

I do know that melanoma has a very high cure rate when caught early which yours obviously has been - if it is actually melanoma at all. In Australia, where people are much more clued up about skin cancers, the total cure rate is over 90% and most not in that statistic are late diagnoses. Sounds as if you'll be just fine.

chipstick10 Fri 23-Sep-11 08:59:46

Many people must have small dark moles, how are you supposed to catch it early. It seems like the original OP wasnt concerned at all about said mole, it was only the eye of a doc.

HattiFattner Fri 23-Sep-11 09:22:38

A, B, C, D

irregular Border
Colour - not universal, or different from other moles
Diameter - bigger than end of pencil

Add to this a mole that has changed in shape or size, and its best to get them checked out.

ObviouslyOblivious Fri 23-Sep-11 09:25:10

I had a superficial spreading melanoma, which is a melanoma but in the superficial layers of skin. This was diagnosed as a mole I'd always had on my shoulder had gone pink on one side.

I had the mole removed and it was biopsied. When the results came back they did a wider local excision to try and get (I think) 1 cm clearance around the affected area.

I've since had another mole removed which the dermatologist said wa the type to become a melanoma if left, and I now have 6 monthly checks at the GP. I was being checked 4 times a year at the dermatologist.

I understand that if you have a lot of moles (which I do) the doctor will look for any that stand out from the others, for example a small black mole amongst light brown larger moles.

It really affected me; I had stress issues at work and was really quite down for a while. But it's made me more aware and hopefully I'll catch any future ones if they occur. PM me if you need any support and I'll do my best!

issynoko Fri 23-Sep-11 11:30:23

Chipstick - In Australia there are walk in clinics - my friends go every 6 months, as you might go to the dentist - and say it's free. Here clearly that's not available (but in Australia 1 in 3 people get skin cancer so is much more of a public health issue) but you can go to the mole clinic (costs about £120 for a whole body check) and they refer you to your GP if anything odd. DH is very moley and was referred and now has 6 monthly checks on a couple of possible rogue moles with dermatology at local hospital - NHS. As HattyF says, there is an ABCD to consider. Another thing to check but worth it. (I am also very moley and my mum had several removed so matters to me)

LCRLCR Fri 30-Sep-11 12:30:38

Thanks so much for the info and advice. The wider excision has been booked for Oct 15th. I'll post back on here once I've had results.

MakeTeaNotWar Thu 27-Oct-11 13:33:42

OP here, I've name changed since I first posted. Just wanted to post an update in case anyone searches in the future in a similiar situation, I had the wider excision done a fortnight ago with a further .5 cm removed from around the original site. Saw doc today for results and happily, it's all gone now and no further treatment required. Phew! I have to keep an eye on my skin, see the doc again in 6 months and have moles checked annually after that.

digerd Thu 08-Nov-12 12:33:49

I had a melanoma diagnosed in Germany. It was caught just in time, they said. The report said SSM, but in the pictures of the 4 different types it looked just like a nodular one, the most dangerous. I had thought it was just a very black, big mole on my arm just above the elbow. Had a local anaesthetic, waited 10 mins and out it came with a long white root, which he showed me. Had a few stiches and scar is a neat 2cms x2cms upright cross shape. This was 27 years ago, and drs in this country are amazed at the wonderful neat scar. ?????

Quodlibet Thu 08-Nov-12 12:41:50

Hi OP, I am not at all medically qualified but used to work for a Harley Street dermatologist who was also a senior NHS consultant.

The type of excision that you are talking about was incredibly normal. The wider excision is a safety measure to make sure that if there is any abnormal tissue it is thoroughly removed. In your case it's only a probable borderline melanoma, not a definite borderline melanoma, so your doctor is erring on the side of extreme caution. Even if it definitely was a borderline melanoma (my ex-boyfriend had one, that I spotted, removed) in the vast majority of cases that I recall, the treatment you have been given would mean no further problems. Your doctor should advise that you have a six-month follow-up check, that you are more conservative in the sun from now on, and that you go for regular mole examinations. But in all likelihood there's no need to be unduly concerned or frightened - it is so common.

digerd Thu 08-Nov-12 18:14:20

My melanoma was very black, hard and shiny. My other moles are either soft large and light brown, and do have some small black ones but the skin is soft with no red margins. The dangerous one was growing in this way:

Circle of pinkish/redish skin all round the edge of it, and next day it had become darker with a further pinkish/redish circle on its outer edges, and so on - I realised it was growing rapidly, but only after being told it was definately a malignant mole. Also had a small softish round dark blob called a satellite on the top in the middle.

digerd Thu 08-Nov-12 18:15:52

It did not bleed, was not painful or itchy, just thought it was a rather large and very black mole.

Sarahjy123 Fri 10-Feb-17 09:10:54

Any advise got referred to dermatologist from my doctor for mole on my neck. Got appointment next day to see derm in a week. Went to feel she checked it and said she wants a second opinion and went to get another derm who also looked at it. They both said I defo need it removed. Derm also did a full body check . Another man came in the room and told me he needed to take pictures of my mole on neck which I had to hold a tape measure up to. A picture of my back was also taken. I then got dressed when derm came in with another lady and said I would like to introduce you to j skin cancer nurse. I'm thinking ok as you can imagine. Nurse day beside me as derm told me she is referring me to plastic surgeons under the 2 week rule to remove the lesion not a mole ? Derm then said is there anything you want to ask me. I just shook my head. Derm left.nurse made appointment to see her in 5 weeks time And said if you have any questions or to talk just ring me and gave me her card. Soooo what the hell is all this about I don't know what to think head is a mush.

picklemepopcorn Fri 10-Feb-17 09:15:49

Sarah, try posting again in general health, I think you'll get more response than on this old thread. You can copy and paste your post.
That must be scary, sorry!

Sarahjy123 Sat 11-Feb-17 12:56:25

Ok thank you.

Ellapaella Sat 11-Feb-17 19:16:13

Sarah it sounds like you have had a biopsy and will hopefully be given the results soon. I have had two suspicious lesions removed - lesion is the term that tends to be used when talking about possible skin cancer as many melanomas don't start in pre existing moles but appear as new lesions. One of mine was 'dysplastic' so showing signs of the cells starting to behave abnormally, it was explained to me that while this was not melanoma if it was just left it may possibly develop into one later on and so I went back to have it all removed and a wider exision to remove all the cells. This was very much a precaution and safety measure rather than actual cancer removal if that makes sense. I've just had another one biopsied which thankfully had come back as being completely benign. The dysplastic one looked nothing like a typical melanoma - it was a small pink shiny lump that appeared during pregnancy and got slightly bigger. The benign one looked much more like a 'typical' melanoma - very very dark and quite irregular. So I think if you can try not to worry too much and wait for your biopsy results. My consultant told me that only a quarter of the moles or lesions they biopsy every week come back as being melanoma. Hope this helps x

Ellapaella Sat 11-Feb-17 19:17:05

And it's standard to have photos taken before a biopsy so that doesn't mean anything too significant.

Lovemusic33 Sat 11-Feb-17 19:21:07

I had one removed a couple years ago on my back and doctors were really vague, I had a biopsy taken at my gp surgery and it came back as having bad cells but was told nothing to worry about, got sent to hospital to have the rest removed and the area around it, again I wasn't told much more other than I had the possibility to turn nasty. I got told I am high risk for skin cancer and been told to stay out of the sun ( I can't as I love being outdoors but I cover up more ). I now keep a close eye on my other moles and any changes, I have regular checks by my gp.

Sarahjy123 Sat 11-Feb-17 20:08:50

Thank you for your reply. I have had no biopsy dermotolist said they would normally remove it now whilst I'm here but referring me to plastics instead. I got a phone call yesterday morning to go to the hospital Monday morning to plastic surgeon. No idea what's going to happen .

Ellapaella Sat 11-Feb-17 20:32:45

Where is the mole? Maybe you are being referred to plastics because the location would make it too difficult for a dermatologist to remove. It sounds pretty poor communication, not good that they haven't explained anything to you. Make sure you ask everything you want to on Monday.

Lovemusic33 Sat 11-Feb-17 20:44:45

I had to go to plastics before removal, then had it removed in day surgery by plastic surgeon, mine was quite big and deep.

Sarahjy123 Sat 11-Feb-17 20:57:11

Its on the right side of my neck . Black brown and pink in colour .

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