The Melanoma, Skin Cancer & Mole Thread...

bigsurfer67

Billy Hamilton status
Dec 29, 2008
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Had some moles frozen off at the Dermatologist about a month ago. One was darker on my left chest which was excised. Biopsy came back...NOT Melanoma/Skin Cancer but an Atypical Mole (Dysplastic Nevus). Had a moderate level of "bad cells" so they had to cut out larger margins today...7 stitches on top and 4 internal...out of the water, gym, and most upper body activities for 3 weeks now. Have consistently used sunblock over the years (sometimes not as much when a kid) as well, but feel like I'm going to be a slave to the Dermatologist now. Any Melanoma, Skin Cancer, atypical mole, etc. stories/info much appreciated!
 

surfflexx

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Accumulation of sunburns in your youth may have caught up with you. It did with me. 18 precancerous moles removed from my back (basel cell) two dysplastic nevus, one on my face, one on my forearm. Then crowned it all off with a melanoma (outside of safe margins) on the bottom of my foot. Would not wish the procedure of it's removal on my worst enemy. Make sure your dermatologist is an expert on skin cancer. The dermatologist that looked at my melanoma thought it was just fungus, when I pressed her, she redundantly took a biopsy. Glad I did or else I'd be a goner. If there's a Sloan Kettering in your neck of the woods, I would recommend them. Pay attention to your doctor, avoid advice from internet experts. Cover up and lather up, stay away from direct sun mid day, be a diligent observer of any change in moles. Yes, unfortunately you'll be seeing a lot of your dermatologist. Good luck, be safe.
 

obslop

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Feb 4, 2002
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ouch! sounds like a good sized chunk of flesh. just has basal cell carcinoma removed from back of my neck and oddly from an area that is covered by the neck of my wetsuit. was only 3 stitches on the surface for me and only 10 days out of the water/no exercise.

i'm very diligent about sunscreen and always have been but have now started wearing a hat after 8:00 a.m. if the waves are under head high. i've given thought to using my hooded rash guard from patagonia that i wear on surf trips but have not gone that far yet.

i also see the dermatologist two times per year.

good luck.
 

littlewave

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Nov 15, 2009
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obslop said:
i've given thought to using my hooded rash guard from patagonia that i wear on surf trips but have not gone that far yet.
After two trips to Hawaii last year for my pale white ass, the hooded rash guard was/is indispensable for me on trips to the tropics. Kept me nice and covered from the sun, and I highly recommend it.
 

emmohl80

Legend (inyourownmind)
Oct 17, 2010
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I've had 3 atypical moles removed. None came back as cancerous and no extra cutting. Currently have two small halo moles in the middle of my back that I've had for close to 7 years now. Grew up in Fl and certainly wasn't the best with the sunscreen as a grom even up into my early 20's. Got my first one cut off at 29 and haven't surfed without a shirt going on almost 10 years now. Good thing about where I live now is I'm always covered in rubber. I try to go twice a year but I'm due. Glad i saw this thread. Need to get my butt back in to the Derm.
 

john4surf

Phil Edwards status
May 28, 2005
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My dermatoligist told me Bob Marley died from a melanoma located under one of his toe nails. So much for dark skin/pigments not being susceptible to skin cancers...
 

bigsurfer67

Billy Hamilton status
Dec 29, 2008
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Emmohl80 said:
I've had 3 atypical moles removed. None came back as cancerous and no extra cutting. Currently have two small halo moles in the middle of my back that I've had for close to 7 years now. Grew up in Fl and certainly wasn't the best with the sunscreen as a grom even up into my early 20's. Got my first one cut off at 29 and haven't surfed without a shirt going on almost 10 years now. Good thing about where I live now is I'm always covered in rubber. I try to go twice a year but I'm due. Glad i saw this thread. Need to get my butt back in to the Derm.
Mine was only an atypical mole that still had a "moderate level" of atypical cells...not cancer or melanoma. Hacked me up good getting bigger margins
 

Autoprax

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Jan 24, 2011
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john4surf said:
My dermatoligist told me Bob Marley died from a melanoma located under one of his toe nails. So much for dark skin/pigments not being susceptible to skin cancers...
He didn't want to cut off his toe because it would affect his soccer game.

Dummy.
 

Billy Ocean

Tom Curren status
Jan 7, 2017
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I’ve had a couple of moles removed. One was pre-cancerous and they cut out area around it which required 4 stitches

Haven’t been to a dermatologist in a while so just booked an appointment for later this month
 

SurfDoc

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Dec 19, 2002
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Moles are never frozen off. Seborrheic keratoses are. Moles are removed with a scalpel generally. Then they are examined microscopically. Sun exposure is definitely a risk but the damage cycle is often 10's of years antecedent to the development of cancer. Always use some form of ultraviolet blockade.
 

Wheelhouse

Gerry Lopez status
Jan 13, 2013
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i have many moles and have had at least 6 cut out with no bad news.

I did have a spot on my back that bled... Turned out to be basal cell carcinoma. They had to dig it out deep. scarred for life


docs said its from getting sunburned as a kid.
 

tbuc

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Jun 12, 2006
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As a teenager and surfer in the 70's our goal was to be as tan as humanly possible. All day, everyday at the beach in the summer, minimal protection, etc. I topped that off in my 20s and 30s with a year and a half in Guam and another 3 1/2 in Hawaii.

Which leads me to a Mohs procedure last Monday for a small squamous cell on the right cheek, and most likely
more of that in my future. I'm 59. Still got the bandage on and will take a look at the damage tomorrow morning.

That being said, any thoughts on alternatives to Mohs? Seems like there was a lot of cutting and burning for
a spot that small. At least they got it all. The pamphlet says the process can take 1/2 a day as they analyze
the initial removal/sample, then continue the process if it looks like there's more.

 

SurfDoc

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Alternative to MOHS? Depends on how nice you want your skin to be I guess. If you don't get all the edges of the growth they can grow back and be more destructive. Freezing, burning, scraping etc. are imprecise whereas MOHS tends to be very precise.
 

Mike_Jones

Phil Edwards status
Mar 5, 2009
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elpescador said:
That being said, any thoughts on alternatives to Mohs?
Yeah. Quit ingesting carbohydrates. Replace them with fats.

This isn't rocket science. In 1931 Otto Warburg got a Nobel Prize for proving that cancer needs sugar (carbohydrate) to survive. Humans can survive on carbohydrates or fats. You do the math.
.
 

silentbutdeadly

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Sep 26, 2005
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Just went today for my twice a year exam. Just a precancer spot frozen off and that's it.

I've had several spots frozen, two cut, and I had to use that cream on my lips (suck). I'm only 42. Gonna be a long road ahead. I surf and fish
 

trevorbc

Michael Peterson status
Jun 27, 2012
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Thanks for the thread. I have had spots cut out in the past but none came back cancerous. Due to seeing this thread I just made an appointment. She mentioned that I hadn't been in since 2015. Damn I used to go every year. That is kind of a long gap. My wife told me the other day I had something on my back that should be looked at. Fingers crossed.
 

Kento

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Jan 11, 2002
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Good to see this thread. I've probably had about a dozen moles removed over the years and try to go to a dermatologist at least every year or two for a checkup. This thread is a good reminder for me to make an appointment soon, especially with family history as my mother has had melanoma three times.
 

bigsurfer67

Billy Hamilton status
Dec 29, 2008
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Kento said:
Good to see this thread. I've probably had about a dozen moles removed over the years and try to go to a dermatologist at least every year or two for a checkup. This thread is a good reminder for me to make an appointment soon, especially with family history as my mother has had melanoma three times.
Had another chest mole removed (and some face stuff burned off)...all clear on this one luckily. My mom has had a number of MOHS procedures on her face and a few melanomas as well. Back in her day, you would get as tan (and burned) as possible without any sunscreen!
 

trevorbc

Michael Peterson status
Jun 27, 2012
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Just got back from my check up. Nothing. Not even anything that looked worrisome. She did say I had a lot of skin damage and asked if I had ever heard of a rash guard. lol Back on the yearly visits program though, 4 years was too long.
 

tbuc

Legend (inyourownmind)
Jun 12, 2006
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SurfDoc said:
Alternative to MOHS? Depends on how nice you want your skin to be I guess. If you don't get all the edges of the growth they can grow back and be more destructive. Freezing, burning, scraping etc. are imprecise whereas MOHS tends to be very precise.
Thanks SurfDoc

One of the things that bothers me about about MOHS is the size of the incision vs the size of the problem. In my case, half have the size of the
head of a pin resulting in a 2/1/2" incision on my cheek. Fortunately he got it all on the first pass.

What do you think of going after small basal cell considering the chance of metastasis is extremely unlikely?