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did anyone have atypical moles before melanoma?

Forums General Melanoma Community did anyone have atypical moles before melanoma?

  • Post
    mkp050680
    Participant

    a very close family friend died from melanoma 2 years ago at the young age of 23. this disease scares life out of me – and now my husband has had 2 atypical moles removed – they were both mild, but i am now so nervous that he is going to get melanoma as his risk is increased. did any of you have atypical moles before melanoma?

    a very close family friend died from melanoma 2 years ago at the young age of 23. this disease scares life out of me – and now my husband has had 2 atypical moles removed – they were both mild, but i am now so nervous that he is going to get melanoma as his risk is increased. did any of you have atypical moles before melanoma?

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  • Replies
      joy_
      Participant

      My husband had several "dysplastic" moles removed prior to his melanoma diagnosis.  In 1996 his dermatologist warned him to stay on top of it because it was possible that they could turn into cancer.  He was seen regularly by a different derm since then and in 2007 when concerned about a particular growth was told it was nothing and not to worry about it.  It was amelanotic (non-pigmented) so it didn't look like your typical melanoma.  Months later (early 2008) it began to change, and he went back to have them remove it.  Turned out to be melanoma.

      I say all of this not to scare you but to encourage him to be pro-active.  If something doesn't look right to  you ask to have it taken off (whether the derm thinks it should be removed or not).  Other than that, try not to worry.  

      Wishing you the best!

      Tracy

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      joy_
      Participant

      My husband had several "dysplastic" moles removed prior to his melanoma diagnosis.  In 1996 his dermatologist warned him to stay on top of it because it was possible that they could turn into cancer.  He was seen regularly by a different derm since then and in 2007 when concerned about a particular growth was told it was nothing and not to worry about it.  It was amelanotic (non-pigmented) so it didn't look like your typical melanoma.  Months later (early 2008) it began to change, and he went back to have them remove it.  Turned out to be melanoma.

      I say all of this not to scare you but to encourage him to be pro-active.  If something doesn't look right to  you ask to have it taken off (whether the derm thinks it should be removed or not).  Other than that, try not to worry.  

      Wishing you the best!

      Tracy

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        gabsound
        Participant

        Just like Tracy's husband I was told not to worry about a pink flat spot and watches it for over 2 years. I kept saying to myself and to 2 different dermatologists "what is this? It doesn't look like anything else I have". It did change slowly and because it was pink I don't think anyone thought it was worrisome. Last summer it got a little "crusty" on one edge and they froze it. It peeled, but later grew back, started bleeding and never healed. Even then they thought it was probably a squamous cell but, unfortunately came back melanoma when biopsied in January.

        I too have lots of moles, and have had about a dozen removed along with a basal cell cancer. Bottom line, don't wait if something seems not right!! I will NEVER do that again. Dr's are not always right.

         

        Julie in Las Vegas

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        gabsound
        Participant

        Just like Tracy's husband I was told not to worry about a pink flat spot and watches it for over 2 years. I kept saying to myself and to 2 different dermatologists "what is this? It doesn't look like anything else I have". It did change slowly and because it was pink I don't think anyone thought it was worrisome. Last summer it got a little "crusty" on one edge and they froze it. It peeled, but later grew back, started bleeding and never healed. Even then they thought it was probably a squamous cell but, unfortunately came back melanoma when biopsied in January.

        I too have lots of moles, and have had about a dozen removed along with a basal cell cancer. Bottom line, don't wait if something seems not right!! I will NEVER do that again. Dr's are not always right.

         

        Julie in Las Vegas

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      Carol Taylor
      Participant

      Calm down, he had his removed, that's in his favor.   I had an atypical mole and the best thing I can do there is refer you to where I tell about my mole story:

      http://letsgivethanks.blogspot.com/2010/12/big-c-is-not-candy.html

      I brazenly toted mine around with me for over 30 years.  What I recommend is that your husband get a dermatologist that specializes in melanoma.  He probably already sees a derm, that's not good enough if you're concerned specifically about melanoma, he needs one that specializes.  You'll find them in your bigger cancer centers and clinics.  I go to Duke's Morris Cancer Clinic in Durham. NC and they have a whole derm clinic that's devoted to skin cancers.  Depending on where you live, you may have to hunt for a specialist and you may have to do some driving to get there (I drive over two hours each way), but it's worth it.

      Note: some people may say that a derm specialist in melanoma is going too far and unnecessary, but I will respectfully disagree.

      A good thing for both of you to do is be serious about protecting yourselves in the sun and avoiding tanning beds.  Get a good melanoma education and you're at a great place to start that!

      Don't let your fears get the best of you. Be aware and be smart and be vigilant.

      All the best.

      Carol

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      Carol Taylor
      Participant

      Calm down, he had his removed, that's in his favor.   I had an atypical mole and the best thing I can do there is refer you to where I tell about my mole story:

      http://letsgivethanks.blogspot.com/2010/12/big-c-is-not-candy.html

      I brazenly toted mine around with me for over 30 years.  What I recommend is that your husband get a dermatologist that specializes in melanoma.  He probably already sees a derm, that's not good enough if you're concerned specifically about melanoma, he needs one that specializes.  You'll find them in your bigger cancer centers and clinics.  I go to Duke's Morris Cancer Clinic in Durham. NC and they have a whole derm clinic that's devoted to skin cancers.  Depending on where you live, you may have to hunt for a specialist and you may have to do some driving to get there (I drive over two hours each way), but it's worth it.

      Note: some people may say that a derm specialist in melanoma is going too far and unnecessary, but I will respectfully disagree.

      A good thing for both of you to do is be serious about protecting yourselves in the sun and avoiding tanning beds.  Get a good melanoma education and you're at a great place to start that!

      Don't let your fears get the best of you. Be aware and be smart and be vigilant.

      All the best.

      Carol

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      Ranisa
      Participant

      Yup had them before, have them still.  I don't think they always turn into Melanoma, I don't even know that they mostly do.  Just keep an eye on them and have him go in have his normal skin checks.  I am no expert but just an opinion.  If anyone else on here says to do something different I would believe that person over me.   

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      Ranisa
      Participant

      Yup had them before, have them still.  I don't think they always turn into Melanoma, I don't even know that they mostly do.  Just keep an eye on them and have him go in have his normal skin checks.  I am no expert but just an opinion.  If anyone else on here says to do something different I would believe that person over me.   

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        Ranisa
        Participant

        One more thing….about going to a derm that specailizes in Melanoma….sounds good to me.  They don't just treat melanoma so that would be the guy to go.  He'll get everything looked over by someone with much more experience in dealing with even the possiblitly.

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        Ranisa
        Participant

        One more thing….about going to a derm that specailizes in Melanoma….sounds good to me.  They don't just treat melanoma so that would be the guy to go.  He'll get everything looked over by someone with much more experience in dealing with even the possiblitly.

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      Janner
      Participant

      The VAST majority of atypical moles do NOT turn into melanoma.  The chances that a mildly atypical mole would change to melanoma is extremely slim.

      Having lots of atypical looking moles is a warning sign for melanoma, so your question here will always get you a yes answer on a bulletin board like this.  The thing to watch for is CHANGE.  If things are changing, then they are worth biopsying.  If your husband has lots of moles, then regular derm visits and photographs of his moles are appropriate.  If he doesn't have a lot of moles, I'd suggest you take pictures yourself of any that catch your attention.  Then you can use them as a baseline to compare against.  

      You have the most important thing in your favor – you KNOW about melanoma.  Many here had never realized it's potential before they were diagnosed.  So don't spend any time worrying about your husband.  Just have him visit a derm regularly and you both pay attention to the moles on his body.  Vigilance, not paranoia, is the key!

      Best wishes,

      Janner

      3 melanoma primaries

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      Janner
      Participant

      The VAST majority of atypical moles do NOT turn into melanoma.  The chances that a mildly atypical mole would change to melanoma is extremely slim.

      Having lots of atypical looking moles is a warning sign for melanoma, so your question here will always get you a yes answer on a bulletin board like this.  The thing to watch for is CHANGE.  If things are changing, then they are worth biopsying.  If your husband has lots of moles, then regular derm visits and photographs of his moles are appropriate.  If he doesn't have a lot of moles, I'd suggest you take pictures yourself of any that catch your attention.  Then you can use them as a baseline to compare against.  

      You have the most important thing in your favor – you KNOW about melanoma.  Many here had never realized it's potential before they were diagnosed.  So don't spend any time worrying about your husband.  Just have him visit a derm regularly and you both pay attention to the moles on his body.  Vigilance, not paranoia, is the key!

      Best wishes,

      Janner

      3 melanoma primaries

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      MichaelFL
      Participant

      My father had a mildly atypical, and I had a moderately atypical.

      Most atypical moles or what are also called dysplastic nevi never do change. The fact that it is mild makes it even better for your husband.

      Michael

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      MichaelFL
      Participant

      My father had a mildly atypical, and I had a moderately atypical.

      Most atypical moles or what are also called dysplastic nevi never do change. The fact that it is mild makes it even better for your husband.

      Michael

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      washoegal
      Participant

      I have had a couple types  of "atypical" moles removed.  You need to read the risk factors under "about melanoma" before you start to worry too much.  My husband, who is six years older, and has not had Mel. has also had three or four. 

      Yes, if it was a dysplastic Nevi, they say it may increase your risk of melanoma.  But the vast majority of these never go on to be Mel.  So just keep watching the skin for change, and use sun screen. 

       

      Mary

      Stage 3

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      washoegal
      Participant

      I have had a couple types  of "atypical" moles removed.  You need to read the risk factors under "about melanoma" before you start to worry too much.  My husband, who is six years older, and has not had Mel. has also had three or four. 

      Yes, if it was a dysplastic Nevi, they say it may increase your risk of melanoma.  But the vast majority of these never go on to be Mel.  So just keep watching the skin for change, and use sun screen. 

       

      Mary

      Stage 3

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        mkp050680
        Participant

        thanks for the responses everyone!

        i am very aware of the risk factors for melaonma as my husband has quite a few of them – he has had basal cell, has over 100 moles, has light hair/eyes, and has now had two atypical moles, so he is at a very increased risk of developing melanoma in his lifetime.

        for those that say to calm down or not worry – i think that is a lot easier said than done, especially when you are in a room as someone takes their last breath from dying from this disease.

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        mkp050680
        Participant

        thanks for the responses everyone!

        i am very aware of the risk factors for melaonma as my husband has quite a few of them – he has had basal cell, has over 100 moles, has light hair/eyes, and has now had two atypical moles, so he is at a very increased risk of developing melanoma in his lifetime.

        for those that say to calm down or not worry – i think that is a lot easier said than done, especially when you are in a room as someone takes their last breath from dying from this disease.

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        Janner
        Participant

        Well, you're singing to the choir.  Most everyone posting here either has melanoma, is caring for someone who does, or has lost someone to melanoma.  We get it.  I, myself have had 3 melanoma primaries, my Dad is at least stage 3 and my Mom has had melanoma in situ. 

        Having said that, increased risk is not a guarantee of getting melanoma.  The risks you list are relative, not cumulative.  You can't just add all the factors together and say he's surely going to have melanoma.  And as I said before, you KNOW to watch and be vigilant.  Melanoma caught early is very curable.  And moles that change can often be caught before they become invasive.  Mildly atypical is pretty common and not considered nearly as high a risk as severely atypical lesions.  So watch for change, be vigilant and yes, stay calm.

        Janner

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        Janner
        Participant

        Well, you're singing to the choir.  Most everyone posting here either has melanoma, is caring for someone who does, or has lost someone to melanoma.  We get it.  I, myself have had 3 melanoma primaries, my Dad is at least stage 3 and my Mom has had melanoma in situ. 

        Having said that, increased risk is not a guarantee of getting melanoma.  The risks you list are relative, not cumulative.  You can't just add all the factors together and say he's surely going to have melanoma.  And as I said before, you KNOW to watch and be vigilant.  Melanoma caught early is very curable.  And moles that change can often be caught before they become invasive.  Mildly atypical is pretty common and not considered nearly as high a risk as severely atypical lesions.  So watch for change, be vigilant and yes, stay calm.

        Janner

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        Carol Taylor
        Participant

        As one who advised "calm down" right off the bat, yes, it is easier said than done, but that doesn't make any less valuable advice (and I've been in rooms with people as they die both as a Hospice chaplain and as pastor and as family member…we probably all have).

        A panicked and/or fearful and/or anxious state of mind works against you. It can be good up to a point.  If your panic makes you vigilant regarding moles & skin…good.

        If, on the other hand, you start to become paranoid and can't think straight and with clarity, can't make decisions after talking with 3 or more doctors, and just can't seem to think about melanoma without falling apart…then "bad."

        You control your mind, thoughts, adn reactions.  You actually choose to be panicked or not.  Even if that's your usual, normal response, you can take steps to change it.  It will be to your advantage, long term and short term, to do so.

        You've got to put yourself in every position to work against melanoma because, dear friend, it's going to do its best to work against you & your husband.  You need a clear head.  So, yes, calm down.

        Grace and peace,

        Carol

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        Carol Taylor
        Participant

        As one who advised "calm down" right off the bat, yes, it is easier said than done, but that doesn't make any less valuable advice (and I've been in rooms with people as they die both as a Hospice chaplain and as pastor and as family member…we probably all have).

        A panicked and/or fearful and/or anxious state of mind works against you. It can be good up to a point.  If your panic makes you vigilant regarding moles & skin…good.

        If, on the other hand, you start to become paranoid and can't think straight and with clarity, can't make decisions after talking with 3 or more doctors, and just can't seem to think about melanoma without falling apart…then "bad."

        You control your mind, thoughts, adn reactions.  You actually choose to be panicked or not.  Even if that's your usual, normal response, you can take steps to change it.  It will be to your advantage, long term and short term, to do so.

        You've got to put yourself in every position to work against melanoma because, dear friend, it's going to do its best to work against you & your husband.  You need a clear head.  So, yes, calm down.

        Grace and peace,

        Carol

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      mkp050680
      Participant

      thanks janner! i really like your attitude – makes me feel hopeful and not so paranoid.

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      mkp050680
      Participant

      thanks janner! i really like your attitude – makes me feel hopeful and not so paranoid.

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      MichaelFL
      Participant

      I understand your concern with having a friend that died from melanoma, but that does not mean your husbands mildly atypical moles will have ever turned to melanoma.

      Be vigilant, keep up the derm visits, as I am sure you are both doing already.

      Michael

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      MichaelFL
      Participant

      I understand your concern with having a friend that died from melanoma, but that does not mean your husbands mildly atypical moles will have ever turned to melanoma.

      Be vigilant, keep up the derm visits, as I am sure you are both doing already.

      Michael

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      EmilyandMike
      Participant
      Hi Mkp…I wanted to say that I hope you embrace your experience with melanoma and spread the word on the importance of checking your skin. My husband is covered in moles but we never knew that could mean you could get a horrible disease like melanoma. I am glad that you are worried…more people should be about melanoma. And I wanted to say hello from San Bruno since I see you are from Foster City. Go Giants!

      All my best to you…Emily
      http://Www.emandmichael.com

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      EmilyandMike
      Participant
      Hi Mkp…I wanted to say that I hope you embrace your experience with melanoma and spread the word on the importance of checking your skin. My husband is covered in moles but we never knew that could mean you could get a horrible disease like melanoma. I am glad that you are worried…more people should be about melanoma. And I wanted to say hello from San Bruno since I see you are from Foster City. Go Giants!

      All my best to you…Emily
      http://Www.emandmichael.com

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