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Thread: Skin cancer

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Skin cancer

    Feb 2014 I went to the doctor with a minor concern about a small mole on my lower back. It occasionally itched at night and was very dark in colour. It was only small, 4mm across.
    The doctor wasn't sure as it can be a fairly specialist subject. I was reffered to the hospital for a dermatologist to have a look. The young nurse was not too sure and she called in the head man, he kind of dismissed it and said they have a very low threshold for removal and wouldn't bother taking this one out.
    April 14 I was called back in for another check up, I'm pretty sure this was more due to a mix up with paper work rather than a follow up appointment. Another Doctor looked at it and also showed little concern but said he would remove it as a precaution saying it may cause a problem in 10 years time.
    Time passed and eventually it was removed in November 14. With in 2 weeks I was called back to hospital where I met a very nice nurse, she explained she was from Mac Milan, my heart jumped. If there is one thing you don't really want is your own MacMillan nurse.
    She explained that I was very lucky that the mole was caught about as early as you can. Further surgery was required which happened in January 15. I now have a 6 inch scar on my lower back but no Skin cancer.

    It still scares the crap out of me and I regularly have nightmares. I constantly worry about every itch or spot on my back in case it's something bad. I was worried that if I hadn't been lucky enough to get this accidental second appointment it could have been a whole lot different.

    For those that don't know me, Age 42, I do have blue eyes and blond hair, these are typical popular attributes of people more likely to get skin cancer. I have spent untold hours outside, whether working or playing, I do not have skin that is particularly light and very rarely burn though. I used to love the sun as a naive teenager but have actively avoided the strong parts of the day for years now.

    I write this in the hope that some of you may think more about protection from the sun.
    Factor 30 suncream, hats and sunglasses and try to avoid direct sun between 11 and 3. If you go away to somewhere hot, a long sleeved rash will do you no harm as protection from the sun is the last thing on your mind whilst sailing.

    Please think about it , happy sailing.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member max111's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    a very good friend of mine has just been through exactly the same scenario they think they caught it in time but he has to go for checkups every 3 months ....they removed some lymph nodes to block the spread ..... hopefully fingers crossed he is going to be ok

    my wife had been nagging me to go and get one checked out on my back so on hearing about my friends situation i was straight in and they removed it 5 days later ! i went to the Rhossy BWA comp not knowing the result of the biopsy with stitches in my back ......i walked round in a daze like a lost soul .....thankfully all came back ok and i was of the hook

    this is very scary stuff to be involved with so wear a hat if you are the normal windsurfer (bald or balding ! ) and a rashy and cream

    sorry jamie .... very glad to hear you are ok !

    scary stuff !!
    Last edited by max111; 11th November 2015 at 08:09 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Sticky thread?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jeroensurf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    With anything in your body, if there is something weird or malfunctioning and it hasn't healed itself within 4-6 weeks...go see a doctor because that is not normal!
    I work as a nurse in a surgeon ward and we having lots of cancer patients. Most of them got there problems for months and often years but just didn pay attention to it.
    If we see them earlier and can help them earlier everything is a lot less invasive.

    The irony of this is that I have a weak tissue tumor on my feet that has been mistaken for a while and they operated me last feb (one week after a month in Capetown) taking out almost all the tendons of my feet except the big toe, because everything else was affected.
    If they got me earlier on surgery my feet would probably be still functioning a lot better as its doing now, and so would be my balance and with that my sailing (and don,t get me started still being able to do my my job).
    Take care of your body and pay attention to it if something is weird. For a lot of stuff we don,t have spare-parts.
    (and BWD, no i,m not Cobra made ).
    188x92kg 43y old, Supper/Windsurfer.

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  5. #5
    Super Moderator na-omi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Back end of a boat
    Sorry to hear about your scare Jamie, but glad they caught it in time!

    This isn't the first time we've heard stories like this, and I think a constant reminder is no bad thing, so will try 'sticking' the thread to see how that goes.

    In earlier threads I've told of how my brother had the tops off his ears due to melanomas at the relatively early age of 40, something that I'd only previously encountered in much older guys (30 more years' exposure) in similar professions (professional deep sea sailors).

    I've got permanent sun damage to my neck and chest from too many years on yachts even with full-on sun protection, thankfully not turned nasty, but very unsightly dark brown scarring.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Yer i agree with Na omi thank god they caught it early and your ok . I go out in the sun all day (i know bad) im dark ,olive skinned and im covered in Freckles on my arms and legs but no moles (thank god) . But its just so difficult in hot climates or sunny days not to have arms and legs showing ?. I use protection 50 on my face when sailing but only 15 when sun bathing . But your post is food for thought mate . Point noted .

  7. #7
    Senior Member Keema Naan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Scary stuff Jamie. I was refered to a Dermatogogist recently myself but thankfully the two unusual skin growths were diagnosed as a type of wart.

    But with Celtic genes, freckles and skin that will burn in less than 30 minutes in summer sun, he advised me that I was extremely high risk for skin cancer since whilst I now take all the sensible precautions, I admitted that this was not always the case when younger. He certainly put the fear of god in to me by explaining to me that that past exposure can still come back to bite when it choses.

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