CSN Login
Members Online: 16

Help-Child with suspicious area.

lakegirlz
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2009

I have a 10 year old daughter who has reddish (auburn) hair and LOTS of freckles (she gets it from me). She has 2 areas that I am concerned with, 1 is on her arm-it looks like a light freckle with a very dark brown center but is raised a bit (it's been like this without changes for a few yr's). The other is on the side of her neck and again looks like a freckle that is raised but over the last few months she says it's started itching and over the last few weeks has a red ring around it. I made an appt with a dermatologist but they can't see her for 3 weeks. How concerned should I be? My mom has had basal/squamous cell in the past but these don't look like anything she's had.
Thanks

Dobermom
Posts: 40
Joined: Aug 2009

I'll start out by saying I am not a doctor/nurse/medical professional. I can only tell you my experience with melanoma and give you my opinion, for whatever it's worth.

I was 26 when I had my first melanotic mole removed from my back. It took me a little over 3 years to find a doctor who would remove that mole from my back. It started out as an itchy mole on my left shoulder blade. Because of its location, I don't really know what it actually looked like, but three different doctors all said it was a "normal" looking mole, and all refused to remove it. This included a dermatologist, who recommended I put lotion on it if it was itchy! I Finally got a GP who was willing to remove it - he too thought it was normal looking, but he was willing to remove it because it bothered me. He said if the insurance company gave him grief about removing it, he'd claim my bra strap was rubbing it. He didn't expect the pathology report to show anything, but he sent it off anyway 'cause that's what you're supposed to do. I now thank God for Dr. Odom every day because the biopsy came back showing malignant melanoma. The subsequent surgical wide excision ended up being VERY wide in order to get clean margins due to unexpected satellite melanomas.

OK - all that being said, I was much older than your daughter, with more years of cumulative sun exposure, so please don't use me as a final basis for any decisions you make! I'm only telling you my story because I HAD TO BE MY OWN ADVOCATE with the medical profession and INSIST my mole be removed. I try not to think what would have happened to me had I waited until the mole finally met the medical criteria for melanoma (the curent ABCD "rules").

My advice to you, for what it's worth - you are the Mom and you know both your family history and your daughter. Although she may be considered a little young for skin cancer, if the moles (esp. the one on her neck) have changed recently, and you are concerned about them, you have the right to ask they be removed and the moles biopsied. Don't allow a doctor to tell you no. If the dermatologist is unwilling, find another one, or ask your primary care physician if s/he will do it. You need to be an advocate for your daughter's health. (Of course, the doc may look at your daughter's moles and determine she has some other problem entirely, like an allergy, or bite, or something. Who knows until she sees the dermatologist?)

When it comes to skin cancer, better safe than sorry. In my eyes, it would be far better to have a doctor tell me "I told you those moles were nothing to worry about!" than the alternative a few months/years from now had you done nothing.

BTW - My original mole didn't meet the ABCD rules, which is why all of the doctors considered it "normal". They completely ignored the itching, attributing it to dry skin - I was 26 at the time, I didn't HAVE dry skin yet! I've always followed what I call the Sesame Street theory (sung to the tune "One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong") If I have a mole that doesn't look like the others, I have it removed on my next annual visit to the dermatologist. All my moles are light/medium brown - if I find a black or red mole, or if I have an itchy mole, I have it removed. So far, it has paid off. I've had one black mole removed thus far, and it proved to be an atypical mole.

Just my opinions, for whatever they're worth. Please let us know how it goes with your daughter.

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network