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Anxious about skin cancer

(7 Posts)
catwalker Sat 20-Jun-09 22:22:52

When I was in my 20s I had very bad acne which would always clear up completely in strong sunshine. Consequently, whenever I got the chance, I'd bake in the sun or use a sunbed. I bought something which was like a mini sun-bed which you used on your face and would regularly sit for ages longer than I should in front of it.

Of course, now, every time I read in the papers (as I did today) about the damage sunbeds can cause I freak out a bit. I'm completely neurotic about every little lump and bump. I ask my GP to look at things now and again, but have little faith as my mum's GP failed to diagnose a malignant melanoma on her leg (she got it treated just in time).

I know there's nothing I can do now as any damage will have been done, but I wondered if anyone had any suggestions as to how I can stop obsessing about this.

saintlydamemrsturnip Sat 20-Jun-09 22:26:45

There's something called the mole clinic. They have clinics at superdrug and do some sort of full body check (think they take photos etc). Might be worth you booking an appointment?

saintlydamemrsturnip Sat 20-Jun-09 22:28:01


careergirl Sun 21-Jun-09 10:26:47

Worst case scenario -even if you were at some point diagnosed with melanoma thin melanomas ie. those caught early are treatable and curable
You are being vigilant which is half the battle. Don't be too vigilant though as obsessive checking may mean you miss small changes.
I would say a monthly check would be fine.
Also do as the above poster has said - get to the mole clinic and have a body check done for some reassurance (they can use a gadget called a dermascope to look for any changes which may be suspicious)
Try not to worry excessively though - awareness is the key and you are doing the right things.

catwalker Sun 21-Jun-09 11:05:21

Thanks both. I did go to the mole clinic about 18 months ago and found it very reassuring. I would certainly go back to them, rather than my GP, if I found anything suspicious. I think the problem is less knowing what to do if I find something, but the awful feeling that it's ineveitable that something will develop because of my stupidity in my 20s.

saintlydamemrsturnip Sun 21-Jun-09 16:04:09

I was worried because I am very pale and burned very badly on several occasions as a child. I recently had a suspicious mole so was referred to a dermatologist. I was seen very quickly (and the mole was not a mole and nothing to worry about) -whilst there the dermatologist checked my entire body and said that my skin showed very few signs of sun damage and that I had clearly been quite careful. I was surprised because I didn't become careful about sun until my 20's (grew up in the 70's/80's so it was all olive oil and fry). Could you ask someone for feedback on your skin or schedule regular checks?

scratchet Sat 27-Jun-09 22:08:32

Catwalker, I have exactly the same problem and the same history. I was thinking of paying for mole mapping or similar and just wondering if you could recommend this? TIA

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