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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    A Skin Blemish, or...

    On Monday I'm going to have a piece of flesh chopped out of my arm, and sent off for testing. The words "suspect melanoma" have been mentioned, by two dermatologists.

    A question, and a suggestion. The question: does anybody here have experience of this condition, as a patient, and if so, what path did your treatment follow? (I'm asking because we as windsurfers are possibly more prone to these buggers. I already have good medical advice.)

    The suggestion: keep checking frequently, especially the backs of your arms and legs, and your back itself, using the two-mirror method. I did, but perhaps not frequently enough.
    Siamo nella merda

  2. #2
    Senior Member jknhismassivevan's Avatar
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    Hugh, firstly good luck and I hope it comes back negative when they test it.

    As a family we grew up in the middle east and my Dad has acted as a bit of a wake up call for me, he's paying the price for 70's and 80's attitude to the sun. He's had a couple of small ops to remove bits of skin the Docs were not happy with. They keep a close eye on him and TBH really seem to be very cautious, if there is any doubt its removed and quickly. Follow up seems OK but he does get treated with kid gloves now they know he is prone to them. He has had a couple of non surgical ops using Liquid Nitrogen with mixed results. He seems a lot happier with a removal by scalpel as its quite quick and not too traumatic even on the face.

    As a result I use P20 when I'm out paying particular attention to ears and nose, talk to anyone from Aus and they will have horror stories of old guys and their ears, not good.

    I get my wife to keep an eye out for me as I am a bit freckly anyway, not too much hassle and nice to get somebody elses POV.
    The Windsurfer Formally Known as JKRR - TWFKJKRR or "Him in the Red Shorts"

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Had a 'rodent ulcer' cut out of my bugle last year. Skin cancer, but not the really nasty kind. Consultant said damage was most likely done many years ago, in the time when Hawaiian Tropic Factor 2 was seen as a good level of sun screen. Most of us slap on the sun block these days, surely?
    Can't jump, won't jump.

  4. #4
    Hugh,

    the first thing to say is not to worry at all. There are tons of things it could be. I've had 3 suspect blemishes removed and while the said the same to me about suspect melanoma none of them turned out to be anything to worry about. Even if one of them did turn put to be a melanoma most are benign and those that are of concern are easy to deal with when caught early.

    As for staying covered up I always do. Never been one to get a tan except for the usual T-shirt job. I must admit though to not slapping the suntan lotion on the exposed parts as often as I should as I have quite dark skin and rarely burn. I've made more of an effort the last couple of years though.

    The actual removal is painless and quick. All of them I have sat and watched but one of the two on my shoulder made me feel a little odd when they were pulling at the root of what turned out to be a blue nevus, a benign melanocytic tumor so nothing to worry about. I was sitting up when it was done and was fine for the cutting part, it was just the pulling. Apparently I went a little pale for a few seconds.
    Never trust a man who doesn't like cats. -
    www.windsurf.me.uk.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jibe Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distinctly Average View Post
    Hugh,

    Apparently I went a little pale for a few seconds.
    A bit of time in the sun will sort that for you mate!

    High - I'm sure it will all be fine - good luck and post here to let us know.
    Tacking is the new gybing.....

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Thanks for the good wishes and reassurances, guys. I appreciate it.

    I too always slap on the Pro-Sport Factor 30 (at least) nowadays. And I never wear less than a long-sleeved rashie for windsurfing or sailing in warmer climes. But I suspect that if there is damage, then it was done a long time ago, during my Channel Island childhood, when summer days meant the beach, "competitive" tanning and - I suspect - pretty iffy suntan cream. An interesting point is that it's on the site of my smallpox inoculation from when I was, IIRC, less than five years old. The dermatologists also think I may have a basal cell on my back. I think it will be a scalpel, not ice.
    Siamo nella merda

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Thumbs up

    Phew! Bits were chopped out on Monday and the results came back unexpectedly quickly today. The arm thing was a Big M in its earliest stages, the remains of which, plus a safety margin, will be removed after Christmas (the back thing was a basal cell carcinoma, which was completely taken out on Monday).

    So - it appears the arm thing was caught before it could do any serious damage, the nurse and the GP who spotted it when I was given an injection will get huge boxes of chocolates from me, and at some point soon I expect to get rip-roaringly blathered.

    Thanks to all for the good wishes and experiences.

    P.S. Last week someone mentioned this to a friend, who then checked the childhood inoculation site on her arm - and? Same as me - large mole, irregular edges and darker parts, plus in her case reddish marks... According to something I read the other day melanoma incidence in the UK has increased sevenfold since the 1970s. Till now, it's not something I've ever worried about.
    Siamo nella merda

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