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Not diagnosed yet, but still have tons of questions

Forums Cutaneous Melanoma Community Not diagnosed yet, but still have tons of questions

  • Post
    MomwHorses
    Participant

    So as luck would have it, yesterday I decided to wear a short sleeved shirt on a 20 degree day for my appointment with my gynecologist because I wanted to minimize my weight.  As I was washing my hands that morning I noticed a purple spot on my arm – I tried to wash it off.  Then I realized it was not going to wash off.  So I immediately think "skin cancer" since the spot doesn't look like anything I've ever seen before.  Later my gynecologist says the spot "gravely" concerns her and to have it biopsied immediately.  Fortunately I was abl

    So as luck would have it, yesterday I decided to wear a short sleeved shirt on a 20 degree day for my appointment with my gynecologist because I wanted to minimize my weight.  As I was washing my hands that morning I noticed a purple spot on my arm – I tried to wash it off.  Then I realized it was not going to wash off.  So I immediately think "skin cancer" since the spot doesn't look like anything I've ever seen before.  Later my gynecologist says the spot "gravely" concerns her and to have it biopsied immediately.  Fortunately I was able to do so today.

    However, the dermatologist  wasn't very talkative.  He really doesn't want to say much until the results come in.  But I'm thinking he knows whether it's likely to be cancerous.  Thankfully I did think to ask, "Well if it is cancer, what type would it be?"  To which he replied "Melanoma" and quickly started talking about something else.  So, my questions are – If it is melanoma, how fast does it get to stage 2?  I feel fairly certain of these results since the doctor could identify actually what type it would be by it's appearance..  I looked at my pictures from this summer and the spot was there in July – only smaller.  It measures 6 mm by 10 mm. 

    So, can the size determine how likely it is to have progressed?  Can having had the spot for over 5 months mean it's most likely to have advanced if it is melanoma?  Or is more than 5 monhts not so long, and 6 x 10 not so big?

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  • Replies
      MichaelFL
      Participant

      Hi,

      I am guessing you have never dealt with melanoma as of yet?

      The dermatologist as well as anyone here will not be able to tell you if it is melanoma, but since you describe it as "purple" maybe it is a bruise or merely something else instead.

      I know the waiting is the hardest part as I have been there myself, but try not to worry yourself and remain calm until the biopsy results come back. There are many, many other things it could be besides melanoma.

      I am betting (hoping) it is something else instead, and let us know the results.

      Michael-stage 1b

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      MichaelFL
      Participant

      Hi,

      I am guessing you have never dealt with melanoma as of yet?

      The dermatologist as well as anyone here will not be able to tell you if it is melanoma, but since you describe it as "purple" maybe it is a bruise or merely something else instead.

      I know the waiting is the hardest part as I have been there myself, but try not to worry yourself and remain calm until the biopsy results come back. There are many, many other things it could be besides melanoma.

      I am betting (hoping) it is something else instead, and let us know the results.

      Michael-stage 1b

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      Janner
      Participant

      This is one of those situations where you're just going to have to wait.  The dermatologist can speculate, but nothing can really be diagnosed without the pathology report.  I've had lesions look "bad" that weren't, and lesions that looked not particularly bad that were.  (I've had 3 melanomas).  You really can't tell anything from the outward appearance including how far advanced a lesion is.  Many grow outward on the surface for a long time before they grow downward.  This is assuming this is something to worry about.  Pre-worry never helped anyone, so wait until you hear what it really is and go from there.  I do suggest you get a copy of the pathology report regardless of the outcome.  It is always good to keep those type of records for future reference.

      Hang in there,

      Janner

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      Janner
      Participant

      This is one of those situations where you're just going to have to wait.  The dermatologist can speculate, but nothing can really be diagnosed without the pathology report.  I've had lesions look "bad" that weren't, and lesions that looked not particularly bad that were.  (I've had 3 melanomas).  You really can't tell anything from the outward appearance including how far advanced a lesion is.  Many grow outward on the surface for a long time before they grow downward.  This is assuming this is something to worry about.  Pre-worry never helped anyone, so wait until you hear what it really is and go from there.  I do suggest you get a copy of the pathology report regardless of the outcome.  It is always good to keep those type of records for future reference.

      Hang in there,

      Janner

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        Ohhh, I am full of pre-worry.  And it's definitely not a bruise – in searching through old pictures, I realize that this has been there since 2007 and but only this year turned purple – ugly bright blackish purple.   And I don't think a dermatologist would biopsy a bruise.  I can't not worry.  It's my nature.  This isn't a mole or anything identifiable by me.  Everyone says there are tons of things that aren't cancer.  Can someone tell me what those things are because I'd sure like to google some pictures and see if they look line mine.  So far the only thing it's looked like was a melanoma, and the doctor says if it's cancer that's the type it is.  I would think he's seen enough of them to know the characterics.  Another odd thing, this dermatogist only treats skin cancer, not other diseases of the skin.  So it was really creepy walking in his office concerned about cancer and seeing nothing but literature on skin cancer.  I truly thought he'd say, "Oh, this is nothing, no biopsy needed.

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        Ohhh, I am full of pre-worry.  And it's definitely not a bruise – in searching through old pictures, I realize that this has been there since 2007 and but only this year turned purple – ugly bright blackish purple.   And I don't think a dermatologist would biopsy a bruise.  I can't not worry.  It's my nature.  This isn't a mole or anything identifiable by me.  Everyone says there are tons of things that aren't cancer.  Can someone tell me what those things are because I'd sure like to google some pictures and see if they look line mine.  So far the only thing it's looked like was a melanoma, and the doctor says if it's cancer that's the type it is.  I would think he's seen enough of them to know the characterics.  Another odd thing, this dermatogist only treats skin cancer, not other diseases of the skin.  So it was really creepy walking in his office concerned about cancer and seeing nothing but literature on skin cancer.  I truly thought he'd say, "Oh, this is nothing, no biopsy needed.

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        W.
        Participant

        Some less dangerous types of lesions that can look melanoma-like:

        – keratoacanthoma

        – Dermatofibrosarcoma

        – pigmented basal cell carcinoma.

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        W.
        Participant

        Some less dangerous types of lesions that can look melanoma-like:

        – keratoacanthoma

        – Dermatofibrosarcoma

        – pigmented basal cell carcinoma.

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        Those are also skin cancers.  When I asked the doctor "if mine were malignant, what type would it be," he unhesitatingly said "Melonoma."   Since he only treats skin cancer I would think if he were in doubt he would have said, "well, it could be basal cell or this or that."  He didn't.  He only said melonoma.  Are there other skin conditions that aren't cancer that look like a melanoma?

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        Those are also skin cancers.  When I asked the doctor "if mine were malignant, what type would it be," he unhesitatingly said "Melonoma."   Since he only treats skin cancer I would think if he were in doubt he would have said, "well, it could be basal cell or this or that."  He didn't.  He only said melonoma.  Are there other skin conditions that aren't cancer that look like a melanoma?

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        W.
        Participant

        Seborrheic Keratosis (but I think those are not pink)

        irritated dermatofibroma

        (thrombosed) angioma

        Angiokeratoma

         

        But even skin cancers  like pigmented BCC can be VERY difficult to distinguish from melanoma without biopsy. In my opinion, your doctor should not have mentioned melanoma at all before the biopsy results are back!

        Good luck and I hope the waiting does not get too difficult…

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        W.
        Participant

        Seborrheic Keratosis (but I think those are not pink)

        irritated dermatofibroma

        (thrombosed) angioma

        Angiokeratoma

         

        But even skin cancers  like pigmented BCC can be VERY difficult to distinguish from melanoma without biopsy. In my opinion, your doctor should not have mentioned melanoma at all before the biopsy results are back!

        Good luck and I hope the waiting does not get too difficult…

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        2atlascedars
        Participant
        I have come to learn (the hard way like most on this site) that every melanoma is different. Some grow slowly and some are extremely aggressive fast-growers. Growing wide is NO WHERE as bad as deep.

        When you get your biopsy results, if it is confirmed to be melanoma, be sure to ask for the following:
        1. Breslow’s Depth
        2. Clark’s Level
        3. Ulceration (or not)
        4. Mitotic Index (no./ sq. mm)
        5. Regression (present or not)
        6. Evidence of lymph system invasion (or not)
        7. Evidence of vascular system invasion
        8. Type of melanoma

        Once you have this info…let’s talk.

        Try not to think about it…keep your thoughts positive, and keep living your life to the fullest (as you should…always)!

        Best regards,
        Mark (Stage 2A) from California

        None of these are the”stage” of the melanoma, but will be used in determining the “stage.”

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        2atlascedars
        Participant
        I have come to learn (the hard way like most on this site) that every melanoma is different. Some grow slowly and some are extremely aggressive fast-growers. Growing wide is NO WHERE as bad as deep.

        When you get your biopsy results, if it is confirmed to be melanoma, be sure to ask for the following:
        1. Breslow’s Depth
        2. Clark’s Level
        3. Ulceration (or not)
        4. Mitotic Index (no./ sq. mm)
        5. Regression (present or not)
        6. Evidence of lymph system invasion (or not)
        7. Evidence of vascular system invasion
        8. Type of melanoma

        Once you have this info…let’s talk.

        Try not to think about it…keep your thoughts positive, and keep living your life to the fullest (as you should…always)!

        Best regards,
        Mark (Stage 2A) from California

        None of these are the”stage” of the melanoma, but will be used in determining the “stage.”

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      MaryMary73
      Participant

      I had a "mole" on my back for a looooooooooooooong time before someone pointed it out to me. I had my husband take a picture of it and it looked like classic melanoma. It measured 5mm by 10mm and was brown with 2 tiny black spots in the middle. My dermatopathologist took one look at it and said it's melanoma and then proceeded with a biopsy. Before I left his office, I asked him what will happen to me. Will I die? Will I need chemotherapy? Radiation therapy? What about my lymph nodes? Could the cancer have spread there too? He looked at me like I'm nuts and told me the only thing I will need is surgery. Fast forward to exactly one week later. Melanoma confirmed. Breslow depth was 0.39mm and all that was needed was surgery. Two weeks later, results came in and my margins were clear. So yes, a good experienced dermatologist can tell if it's melanoma or not and no, size makes no difference in regards to advanced disease.

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      MaryMary73
      Participant

      I had a "mole" on my back for a looooooooooooooong time before someone pointed it out to me. I had my husband take a picture of it and it looked like classic melanoma. It measured 5mm by 10mm and was brown with 2 tiny black spots in the middle. My dermatopathologist took one look at it and said it's melanoma and then proceeded with a biopsy. Before I left his office, I asked him what will happen to me. Will I die? Will I need chemotherapy? Radiation therapy? What about my lymph nodes? Could the cancer have spread there too? He looked at me like I'm nuts and told me the only thing I will need is surgery. Fast forward to exactly one week later. Melanoma confirmed. Breslow depth was 0.39mm and all that was needed was surgery. Two weeks later, results came in and my margins were clear. So yes, a good experienced dermatologist can tell if it's melanoma or not and no, size makes no difference in regards to advanced disease.

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      washoegal
      Participant

      OK- so here's the news that's really going to bum you out.  When you get the biopsy back- even if it's worse case, you will still not have the total picture ie: the Staging.  Don't panic like many people and hear the Barslow depth and think "OH my God I have Stage 4 cancer"  Not the same.  If it's over a certain depth, (1mm???) then they'll want to check lymph nodes before staging. 

      Chances are really good it is not melanoma, but just in case get a copy of the biopsy report, post the info here, we'll walk you through it.  Ask for a referral to a MEL Specialist.  The folks here can help you if you are given your choice of a few in your area. 

       

      Good Luck!

       

      Mary

      Stage 3

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      washoegal
      Participant

      OK- so here's the news that's really going to bum you out.  When you get the biopsy back- even if it's worse case, you will still not have the total picture ie: the Staging.  Don't panic like many people and hear the Barslow depth and think "OH my God I have Stage 4 cancer"  Not the same.  If it's over a certain depth, (1mm???) then they'll want to check lymph nodes before staging. 

      Chances are really good it is not melanoma, but just in case get a copy of the biopsy report, post the info here, we'll walk you through it.  Ask for a referral to a MEL Specialist.  The folks here can help you if you are given your choice of a few in your area. 

       

      Good Luck!

       

      Mary

      Stage 3

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        Yep, I've already figured out that you folks are the ones to go to when making decisions.  And I will most definitely post my report when I get it only Monday (I always ask for printed copies – or faxed as is the usual case).  Either way I'll let you guys know what the results are.

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        Yep, I've already figured out that you folks are the ones to go to when making decisions.  And I will most definitely post my report when I get it only Monday (I always ask for printed copies – or faxed as is the usual case).  Either way I'll let you guys know what the results are.

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      Cynthia C
      Participant

      Ah! So a trip to the gynecologist was a good thing! There's a first for everything. Don't beat yourself up, my "spot" was there for over a year prior to my biopsy. And that was 10 years ago.

      Also a horse person,

      Cynthia C from Colorado

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      Cynthia C
      Participant

      Ah! So a trip to the gynecologist was a good thing! There's a first for everything. Don't beat yourself up, my "spot" was there for over a year prior to my biopsy. And that was 10 years ago.

      Also a horse person,

      Cynthia C from Colorado

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        Turns out I can see my spot in pictures from 2007 – smaller and lighter, but clearly there. What's weird about the spot is that it never looked identifiable – not a freckle (well maybe more freckle like than anything else), not an age spot (I have two of those) and definitely not a mole.  Just a spot!!!  I agree my doctor should not have said Melanoma.  It is even scarier that he specializes in skin cancers.  When he biopsied it he left a big ugly incision (stitched of course). 

        Anyway, now I'm worried that if this is cancer, it's been there since 2007?  Or can a spot be non-cancerous for years then turn cancerous (like when it turned purple / black?)

        I know I'm not supposed to worry until the results, but I am someone who has had a lot of cancer deaths in her family and a lot of other premature deaths – and this weekend it is all I can think about.  Monday can't come soon enough.  And I can't even imagine how I am going to get through Monday until the doctor calls.

        And Cynthia, I'll have to find out who you are – horseback riding in Colorado sounds amazing.  Of course my old un-sure footed gelding would probably fall off of a mountainside knowing him.smiley

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        Cynthia C
        Participant

        Monday will come very quickly. I'm thinking good thoughts for you. There will be a lot of good advice for you here if it is melanoma. If it's not I'm still glad you stopped by. Go rest your weary head on your horse's neck and take a couple of deep breaths. Everything will seem a little better.

        Cynthia C,  [email protected]

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        Cynthia C
        Participant

        Monday will come very quickly. I'm thinking good thoughts for you. There will be a lot of good advice for you here if it is melanoma. If it's not I'm still glad you stopped by. Go rest your weary head on your horse's neck and take a couple of deep breaths. Everything will seem a little better.

        Cynthia C,  [email protected]

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        Turns out I can see my spot in pictures from 2007 – smaller and lighter, but clearly there. What's weird about the spot is that it never looked identifiable – not a freckle (well maybe more freckle like than anything else), not an age spot (I have two of those) and definitely not a mole.  Just a spot!!!  I agree my doctor should not have said Melanoma.  It is even scarier that he specializes in skin cancers.  When he biopsied it he left a big ugly incision (stitched of course). 

        Anyway, now I'm worried that if this is cancer, it's been there since 2007?  Or can a spot be non-cancerous for years then turn cancerous (like when it turned purple / black?)

        I know I'm not supposed to worry until the results, but I am someone who has had a lot of cancer deaths in her family and a lot of other premature deaths – and this weekend it is all I can think about.  Monday can't come soon enough.  And I can't even imagine how I am going to get through Monday until the doctor calls.

        And Cynthia, I'll have to find out who you are – horseback riding in Colorado sounds amazing.  Of course my old un-sure footed gelding would probably fall off of a mountainside knowing him.smiley

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      MomwHorses
      Participant

      So I've been reading (everyone tells me to stop reading!!) and it seems the three common places for melanoma are the back, butt, and leg.  So I decided look mine over for any more of the things I had biopsied.  OMG, there is another thing exactly like the one cut off, only smaller, on my buttock.  I sure wish I'd known it was there so he could have cut both off at once.   Will tomorrow never come???

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      MomwHorses
      Participant

      So I've been reading (everyone tells me to stop reading!!) and it seems the three common places for melanoma are the back, butt, and leg.  So I decided look mine over for any more of the things I had biopsied.  OMG, there is another thing exactly like the one cut off, only smaller, on my buttock.  I sure wish I'd known it was there so he could have cut both off at once.   Will tomorrow never come???

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        2atlascedars
        Participant
        I know it is hard not to imagine the worst possible scenario, but I think the odds are in your favor. You MUST maintain your composure so you can think clearly when the call comes. When you find yourself thinking about that worst case scenario…try to contemplate less dire outcomes, such as:
        1) If it is a melanoma, it could just be “in-situ,” in which case you may need no further treatment
        2) if it is a melanoma, it could just be less than 1 mm deep, which only requires a slightly wider margin than your biopsy.
        3) If it is a melanoma, it could just be less than 4 mm deep, which requires a procedure to remove a “wide local excision” (2 cm from the mole), and a biopsy of a few lymph nodes…which could be negative, requiring no further treatment (this was my scenario…the worst stage that doesn’t require further treatment…2A)

        “Let us be of good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those that (may) never happen.”
        James Russel Lowell

        Try googling this phrase for a while…inspirational thoughts, don’t worry.

        Good luck, I am hoping and praying for the best for you.

        Regards,
        Mark from California

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        2atlascedars
        Participant
        I know it is hard not to imagine the worst possible scenario, but I think the odds are in your favor. You MUST maintain your composure so you can think clearly when the call comes. When you find yourself thinking about that worst case scenario…try to contemplate less dire outcomes, such as:
        1) If it is a melanoma, it could just be “in-situ,” in which case you may need no further treatment
        2) if it is a melanoma, it could just be less than 1 mm deep, which only requires a slightly wider margin than your biopsy.
        3) If it is a melanoma, it could just be less than 4 mm deep, which requires a procedure to remove a “wide local excision” (2 cm from the mole), and a biopsy of a few lymph nodes…which could be negative, requiring no further treatment (this was my scenario…the worst stage that doesn’t require further treatment…2A)

        “Let us be of good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those that (may) never happen.”
        James Russel Lowell

        Try googling this phrase for a while…inspirational thoughts, don’t worry.

        Good luck, I am hoping and praying for the best for you.

        Regards,
        Mark from California

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        Wow – that was a great response.  There are three levels of bad before it is seriously life threatening.  Thanks so much for posting.   Regardless of the outcome tomorrow, I will never view skin cancer as I did before.  It is amazing how many people say, "Don't worry, it's just skin cancer, one of the most curable cancers."  Stages don't even enter people's thoughts – just cut it off and it's over.

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        Wow – that was a great response.  There are three levels of bad before it is seriously life threatening.  Thanks so much for posting.   Regardless of the outcome tomorrow, I will never view skin cancer as I did before.  It is amazing how many people say, "Don't worry, it's just skin cancer, one of the most curable cancers."  Stages don't even enter people's thoughts – just cut it off and it's over.

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        2atlascedars
        Participant
        According to the Cleveland Clinic…”more than 1 million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. About 80% of these new skin cancer cases will be basal cell carcinoma, 16% will be squamous cell carcinoma, and 4% will be melanoma.” 

        Of those cases diagnosed as melanoma, “85% have localized disease (Stages I and II ) on presentation. Only about 15% of patients have regional nodal involvement.”

        See…the odds really are in your favor.

        Now…try to get some sleep.

        Regards,
        Mark (stage 2A) from California

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        2atlascedars
        Participant
        According to the Cleveland Clinic…”more than 1 million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. About 80% of these new skin cancer cases will be basal cell carcinoma, 16% will be squamous cell carcinoma, and 4% will be melanoma.” 

        Of those cases diagnosed as melanoma, “85% have localized disease (Stages I and II ) on presentation. Only about 15% of patients have regional nodal involvement.”

        See…the odds really are in your favor.

        Now…try to get some sleep.

        Regards,
        Mark (stage 2A) from California

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      mlbjab
      Participant

      I watched my melanoma change and grow over a few years.  It was still only in situ.  Even if yours IS melanoma, lets hope it was caught early. 

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      mlbjab
      Participant

      I watched my melanoma change and grow over a few years.  It was still only in situ.  Even if yours IS melanoma, lets hope it was caught early. 

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        Your response helped too.  I couldn't get a clear answer on how long it could be there without being fatal.  At least I know now that even if it's been there 3 years, it still doesn't guarantee it's bad.

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        Your response helped too.  I couldn't get a clear answer on how long it could be there without being fatal.  At least I know now that even if it's been there 3 years, it still doesn't guarantee it's bad.

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      MomwHorses
      Participant

      Benign, Benign, Benign!!!!!  You guys were soooo right, all that worry for nothing.  Says it is an overgrowth of red blood cells.  Yayyyyy!!!  I have such a new appreciation for skin cancer now though.  Prior to this I would have been one of those who said, "gee, it's only skin cancer . . ."

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      MomwHorses
      Participant

      Benign, Benign, Benign!!!!!  You guys were soooo right, all that worry for nothing.  Says it is an overgrowth of red blood cells.  Yayyyyy!!!  I have such a new appreciation for skin cancer now though.  Prior to this I would have been one of those who said, "gee, it's only skin cancer . . ."

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        Janner
        Participant

        Glad it is good news.  Hopefully, this will remind you that "researching" before you have something confirmed isn't always in your best interest!

        Best wishes,

        Janner

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        Janner
        Participant

        Glad it is good news.  Hopefully, this will remind you that "researching" before you have something confirmed isn't always in your best interest!

        Best wishes,

        Janner

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        But it was . . . . all the knowledge gained will make me much more careful with myself and my young children in the future.  We're all going to be a little paler next summer.

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        But it was . . . . all the knowledge gained will make me much more careful with myself and my young children in the future.  We're all going to be a little paler next summer.

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        But it was . . . . all the knowledge gained will make me much more careful with myself and my young children in the future.  We're all going to be a little paler next summer.

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        MomwHorses
        Participant

        But it was . . . . all the knowledge gained will make me much more careful with myself and my young children in the future.  We're all going to be a little paler next summer.

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        lhaley
        Participant

        So glad you got such great news!

        Linda

        Stage IV since 06

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        lhaley
        Participant

        So glad you got such great news!

        Linda

        Stage IV since 06

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      MomwHorses
      Participant

      Benign, Benign, Benign!!!!!  You guys were soooo right, all that worry for nothing.  Says it is an overgrowth of red blood cells.  Yayyyyy!!!  I have such a new appreciation for skin cancer now though.  Prior to this I would have been one of those who said, "gee, it's only skin cancer . . ."

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      MomwHorses
      Participant

      Benign, Benign, Benign!!!!!  You guys were soooo right, all that worry for nothing.  Says it is an overgrowth of red blood cells.  Yayyyyy!!!  I have such a new appreciation for skin cancer now though.  Prior to this I would have been one of those who said, "gee, it's only skin cancer . . ."

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        2atlascedars
        Participant
        CONGRATULATIONS!!!

        I could not be more happy for you…now go out and celebrate!!!

        Mark from California

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        2atlascedars
        Participant
        CONGRATULATIONS!!!

        I could not be more happy for you…now go out and celebrate!!!

        Mark from California

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      MomwHorses
      Participant

      I know I should go away now that the doctor said it isn't cancer – but I have yet another question.  The pathology report says Final Diagnosis

      Skin, right arm:  Inflamed and irritated hemangioma. 

      When I look up hemangioma – it is always associated with babies.  When I look up adult hemangioma, it shows pictures of those tiny red dots, which I have around some of my scar tissue from a liver resection.  But the thing on my arm (gone now) didn't remotely look like the tiny dots. 

      Is there any possibility of a wrong diagnosis?  I ask this because I have another like the one on my arm, and if I have it biopsied I want to know that they aren't just playing guessing games.

      It said for the decription:

      Sections of skin show a collection of benighn-appearing vessels within the dermis.  These vessels are lined by blend (bland?) appearing endothelial cells and contain erythrocytes.  There is no evidence of atypia or malignancy.  The hemangioma is surreounded by extravasailed (sp?) erythrocytes and mixed inflammation.

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      MomwHorses
      Participant

      I know I should go away now that the doctor said it isn't cancer – but I have yet another question.  The pathology report says Final Diagnosis

      Skin, right arm:  Inflamed and irritated hemangioma. 

      When I look up hemangioma – it is always associated with babies.  When I look up adult hemangioma, it shows pictures of those tiny red dots, which I have around some of my scar tissue from a liver resection.  But the thing on my arm (gone now) didn't remotely look like the tiny dots. 

      Is there any possibility of a wrong diagnosis?  I ask this because I have another like the one on my arm, and if I have it biopsied I want to know that they aren't just playing guessing games.

      It said for the decription:

      Sections of skin show a collection of benighn-appearing vessels within the dermis.  These vessels are lined by blend (bland?) appearing endothelial cells and contain erythrocytes.  There is no evidence of atypia or malignancy.  The hemangioma is surreounded by extravasailed (sp?) erythrocytes and mixed inflammation.

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        kateboston
        Participant

        If you are nervous or have doubts, ask to have your pathology sent to a melanoma center for a second opinion. When mine was first discovered as melanoma, it was read by both my dermatologist's pathologist and then two melanoma centers. You can send it anywhere in the country and have the report sent back to you!! I got mine done at MGH and Dana Farber. Good luck!

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        kateboston
        Participant

        If you are nervous or have doubts, ask to have your pathology sent to a melanoma center for a second opinion. When mine was first discovered as melanoma, it was read by both my dermatologist's pathologist and then two melanoma centers. You can send it anywhere in the country and have the report sent back to you!! I got mine done at MGH and Dana Farber. Good luck!

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        W.
        Participant

        I think only an expert can really answer that question. I'm not a doctor, so take my explanation with a grain of salt.

         

        Still, I believe the possibility of a misdiagnosis is very very small or maybe even zero.

        For example:

        – melanoma typically has very irregular looking vessels

        – melanomas consists of melanocytes, not erythrocytes (erythocytes are red blood cells)

        – melanomas have prominent atypia (i.e. the cells look strange and irregular under the microscope)

         

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        W.
        Participant

        I think only an expert can really answer that question. I'm not a doctor, so take my explanation with a grain of salt.

         

        Still, I believe the possibility of a misdiagnosis is very very small or maybe even zero.

        For example:

        – melanoma typically has very irregular looking vessels

        – melanomas consists of melanocytes, not erythrocytes (erythocytes are red blood cells)

        – melanomas have prominent atypia (i.e. the cells look strange and irregular under the microscope)

         

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        Janner
        Participant

        I have several hemangiomas.  They are not small dots.  They look more like red moles.  Typically, if something has a vascular component, you can press on it and it will fade momentarily.  My hemangiomas do that.

        I seriously doubt there would be any mixup between a hemangioma and melanoma.  For melanoma, the pathologist would stain the sample looking for any melanocytes.  The stain makes melanocytes show up well.  Then they evaulate those melanocytes for any atypical features.  If they are seeing blood vessels and red blood cells (erythrocytes) and not any atypical melanocytes, then they are not seeing melanoma.  Certainly, you can send the sample for another opinion.  But the two would not be easily confused via pathology.  But just having another lesion that looks similar is another reason I'd lean away from melanoma.  Most people who get melanoma only get one.  And the thing you look for is something that looks like nothing else on your body! 

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        Janner
        Participant

        I have several hemangiomas.  They are not small dots.  They look more like red moles.  Typically, if something has a vascular component, you can press on it and it will fade momentarily.  My hemangiomas do that.

        I seriously doubt there would be any mixup between a hemangioma and melanoma.  For melanoma, the pathologist would stain the sample looking for any melanocytes.  The stain makes melanocytes show up well.  Then they evaulate those melanocytes for any atypical features.  If they are seeing blood vessels and red blood cells (erythrocytes) and not any atypical melanocytes, then they are not seeing melanoma.  Certainly, you can send the sample for another opinion.  But the two would not be easily confused via pathology.  But just having another lesion that looks similar is another reason I'd lean away from melanoma.  Most people who get melanoma only get one.  And the thing you look for is something that looks like nothing else on your body! 

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