Does anyone have experience with skin cancer?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-25-2013
Does anyone have experience with skin cancer?
1
Wed, 08-28-2013 - 10:47am

I am curious if anyone here has experience with skin cancer. What kind did you have and did you discover it yourself or did your doctor discover it? I have an appointment with dermatologist to examine some spots my family doctor finds suspicious so I am curious of other people's experiences.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Mon, 09-02-2013 - 1:07pm

Good for you for getting the suspicious spots checked out early!

I have had 3 "spots" removed from my forearm, back of my neck, and my temple. Each was basal cell or squamous cell and had not started spreading. The first was the one on the back of my neck which the derm found. After that I started looking more carefully at my skin and bringing spots to his attention. Most turn out to be benign or actinic keratoses which we watch for changes. In my case they are all tiny pink spots. I do have a number of dark moles but so far all of them are fine. The derm was especially careful in excising the one on my face so I would not have a visible scar.

With all of the spots the derm took some tissue to view under the microscope in his office; on at least one he was able to identify the type of cells and performed the excision during that visit. On at least one of the others, the specimen was sent to a pathology lab and when he got the results back they called me to schedule the excison. All of them were done in the office with some local anesthetic and there was a follow up visit to check that it was healing properly. Sorry that I don't remember more details but its been several years. I was seeing him annually for rosacea (skin condition on the face) and during that visit he would perform a fairly thorough "mole inspection". After he found the first suspicious spot I went onto an every 6 month schedule for mole checks. 

Here is a website that you might find helpful:

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/skin/page4

Hope this helps you know what to expect. Best of luck at your visit.