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DRolison89
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2010

My name is Dawn and I am a 20 year old female in my first year of college. I have been noticing for the past several months a mole like bump in the bend of my right leg. The main thing that has me worried about this bump is that it seems to be darkening over time. It is not very dark at this moment, probably only a light tan to beige color, but when I first noticed it, it was almost the same shade of my skin which is very pale. I have been to a tanning bed several times in my life, not anything to drastic, but I probably went more then twenty times. I also burn very easily when out in the sun for long periods of time and in addition to pale skin I have light eyes and reddish brown hair as well as a family history of skin cancer on both sides. Part of me feels like I am over reacting, because I am so young and the bump has not oozed (to my knowledge) or given me any pain and I should not be thinking/worrying about possibly having skin cancer. But I just need some advise on what I should do.

Thank You,
Dawn

Rocky76
Posts: 18
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi Dawn,

You're never too young to start getting annual checkups. I have a friend who was around your age when she was diagnosed with melanoma (not suggesting that's what you have!!!). So if nothing else, it might be a good idea to find a dermatologist you trust, if you don't already have one, and make an appointment with him or her. Definitely show him or her that mole-like area but also have him or her make a map of your moles, incl. measurements and colors. This will help them (and you) keep track of how your moles might change over time. Make sure that during the checkup, she or he also looks at any scabs or other discoloration or unusual looking things. There are different types of skin cancer and while melanoma is the most dangerous and fastest spreading one, the other 2 types must also be treated should you ever have one or the other.

Our skin changes over time so you may notice more moles, changes in color and size, bumps, discoloration and other things on your skin and in general, it's good to keep track of these changes. The better you know your skin, the sooner you'll be able to notice any changes.

Good luck!

JR1949
Posts: 230
Joined: Jun 2009

Dawn,
Definitely see a good dermotologist because moles that grow and/or change color need the attention of a dermotologist. If the dermotologist removes the mole insist on a biopsy.
My wife had a mole on her forehead that had grown slightly and she went to dermotologist because it was was bothering her when she brushed her hair. The doc sent off for biopsy and it was a malignant melanoma. My wife went to hospital and area around mole was excised and lymph nodes were removed. This solved the problem and she was cancer free afterwards.

Good luck.

GinSue's picture
GinSue
Posts: 19
Joined: Jun 2009

I have had both - a mole that changed and one that did not. Of course, the one that changed was removed and I was diagnosed with Stage IIIC Malignant Melanoma. A few months afterwards, I had another mole removed that had been there for years but nothing changed about it, it just fit the ABCDE of melanoma. That mole was also melanoma. I urge you to have it removed and biopsied. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being safe and sure. I was a tanning bed customer as well, have red hair, pale skin and green eyes. Please get it checked. I don't want you to go what I have been thru. Read my blog and see what can be avoided by early detection.

Best of luck to you!

Ginger

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