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  1. #4571
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    Has anyone here had any trouble with moles on their body, or had them removed?

    A little background: My mom passed away when I was young, of melanoma. I've got many, many moles on my body, and a whole bunch of them are "atypical". I've got multi-colored moles, funny-shaped moles, and pretty much every weird looking mole you could have.

    I get an annual physical, and my doctor has always looked at my moles and said they're fine. But I moved recently, and my new doctor wanted me to see a dermatologist.

    So, I went to the dermatologist, gave him my family history, etc. He looked me over and circled 3 moles he wanted to remove, over the next 3 visits. I had my 3rd mole removed last week (a nice little arrowhead-shaped mole).

    This morning, I got a call from the derm's office saying that even though nothing was wrong with that mole, they want me to come back and have more area excised.

    Should I be worried? Has anyone else gone through this kind of thing? She said that it wasn't cancerous, just that the doctor wants to take more area off because it "shows signs of being the type of mole that COULD turn into cancer with more exposure to the sun".

  2. #4572
    Premium Member burntbrat's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by John;2495233;
    Has anyone here had any trouble with moles on their body, or had them removed?

    A little background: My mom passed away when I was young, of melanoma. I've got many, many moles on my body, and a whole bunch of them are "atypical". I've got multi-colored moles, funny-shaped moles, and pretty much every weird looking mole you could have.

    I get an annual physical, and my doctor has always looked at my moles and said they're fine. But I moved recently, and my new doctor wanted me to see a dermatologist.

    So, I went to the dermatologist, gave him my family history, etc. He looked me over and circled 3 moles he wanted to remove, over the next 3 visits. I had my 3rd mole removed last week (a nice little arrowhead-shaped mole).

    This morning, I got a call from the derm's office saying that even though nothing was wrong with that mole, they want me to come back and have more area excised.

    Should I be worried? Has anyone else gone through this kind of thing? She said that it wasn't cancerous, just that the doctor wants to take more area off because it "shows signs of being the type of mole that COULD turn into cancer with more exposure to the sun".
    I am a very mole-y person and have had many atypical moles over the years. For purely cosmetic reasons I get them removed whenever new ones crop up. I think it's a little strange that your dermatologist took three visits to remove three moles. My last visit I had five removed, and the visit before that was five also (and there were a couple of pretty large ones in the mix). My dermatologist has also said that all moles COULD turn into cancer and that's why you keep an eye on them to make sure they don't darken or change shape. With your family history they probably want to be extra cautious, but it's always been my understanding that either a mole is cancerous or it's not. If the woman said it's not cancerous, I can't imagine they'd turn around and say it was but they didn't want to tell you that over the phone. So I wouldn't be very worried if I were you. But I might look into getting a different doctor who doesn't waste your time and money with separate visits for each lesion.
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  3. #4573
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    Thanks, burntbrat. Yeah, it is kind of strange. And being self-employed, I have a high co-pay. It takes him about 5 minutes to remove a mole, and I've gone back 3 times for these first 3 moles.

    He says he's done removing the ones that "worry him", though, so other than this follow-up, I'm done for 6 months.

    If he wanted to remove all of the multi-colored or weird-shaped moles, I could be there for a week solid

  4. #4574
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by John;2495233;
    Has anyone here had any trouble with moles on their body, or had them removed?

    A little background: My mom passed away when I was young, of melanoma. I've got many, many moles on my body, and a whole bunch of them are "atypical". I've got multi-colored moles, funny-shaped moles, and pretty much every weird looking mole you could have.

    I get an annual physical, and my doctor has always looked at my moles and said they're fine. But I moved recently, and my new doctor wanted me to see a dermatologist.

    So, I went to the dermatologist, gave him my family history, etc. He looked me over and circled 3 moles he wanted to remove, over the next 3 visits. I had my 3rd mole removed last week (a nice little arrowhead-shaped mole).

    This morning, I got a call from the derm's office saying that even though nothing was wrong with that mole, they want me to come back and have more area excised.

    Should I be worried? Has anyone else gone through this kind of thing? She said that it wasn't cancerous, just that the doctor wants to take more area off because it "shows signs of being the type of mole that COULD turn into cancer with more exposure to the sun".

    John, I share a similar family history to you -- My father had a malignant melanoma about 30 years ago. Like you, I have had yearly mole checks for many many years. I've always gone to a dermatologist for mine, but have had to change dermatologists 3 times. Its been my experience that each time I go to a new doctor, as soon as I mention the family history, the zone in on me immediately, exhibiting big time caution. Since this is a new doctor, I tend to think that it is the desire to be very cautious with a new patient that is driving the desire to do more rather than anything problematic that they don't want to mention yet. (sidenote, I've also had experience with a doctor finding a tumor that needed to be removed in me -- trust me, when they're something to worry about, they let on pretty darn quick!)

    I think you're doing the right thing following the doctors direction to come in again, but I would not read more into the action than what they're telling you. I learned to appreciate with my dermatologists than when they spend most of the day looking at acne or warts, their attention really perks up when they're dealing with a history of melanoma.

    ETA: Given your co-pay concern, I'd ask the office if they can't do the removal in one visit, explaining the co-pay issue. I'd guess their reason for doing it in three visits has to do with either time concerns for them (easier to block out appointments that are the same length) or comfort concerns for you. If it's a good office, they should be willing to work with you on that one.

  5. #4575
    Premium Member canuckinchile's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by John;2495233;
    Has anyone here had any trouble with moles on their body, or had them removed?

    A little background: My mom passed away when I was young, of melanoma. I've got many, many moles on my body, and a whole bunch of them are "atypical". I've got multi-colored moles, funny-shaped moles, and pretty much every weird looking mole you could have.

    I get an annual physical, and my doctor has always looked at my moles and said they're fine. But I moved recently, and my new doctor wanted me to see a dermatologist.

    So, I went to the dermatologist, gave him my family history, etc. He looked me over and circled 3 moles he wanted to remove, over the next 3 visits. I had my 3rd mole removed last week (a nice little arrowhead-shaped mole).


    This morning, I got a call from the derm's office saying that even though nothing was wrong with that mole, they want me to come back and have more area excised.

    Should I be worried? Has anyone else gone through this kind of thing? She said that it wasn't cancerous, just that the doctor wants to take more area off because it "shows signs of being the type of mole that COULD turn into cancer with more exposure to the sun".
    I wouldn't worry too much John. Derms are usually very cautious, and most precancerous moles (basal cell carcinomas are very common) take years and years to develop into anything. I can understand your concern with your family history, but it sounds like you have abnormal cells without it being cancer.

  6. #4576
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by John;2495233;
    I've got many, many moles on my body, and a whole bunch of them are "atypical". I've got multi-colored moles, funny-shaped moles, and pretty much every weird looking mole you could have.
    Me too. Those warnings we hear about getting weird-looking moles checked out simply don't apply to me, because lots of them are asymmetical, or some darker than others, etc., etc. So I know what you mean when you say you'd be at the doctor's office for a week solid if you were to have them all removed.

    I had one removed from my face a few years back. It was in the exact same spot as Cindy Crawford's famous mole (that was the extent of any resemblance). It had gotten larger and it bothered me, and my doctor agreed it should be removed. A plastic surgeon removed it, though, not a dermatologist. They tested it and it was fine. My mom's skin is similar to mine and she also had a couple removed from her face (she had had cancer previously - not skin cancer - but fortunately, the moles were benign). It's possible your doctor is being over-cautious because of your family history. And I agree with burntbrat - the woman at your doctor's office likely wouldn't have said anything at all to you over the phone if they suspected you really did have cancer. I also agree that coming in for 3 separate visits is pretty sketchy practice on the physician's part.
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  7. #4577
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    When Mr. Rose and I had our own business, the medical insurance was a nightmare, so I can appreciate your dilemma. I agree with talking to his office about your copay, and I'd bet they'd try to come to some kind of compromise for you in the future. Having a family history is probably a great reason to be diligent about seeing a dermatologist regularly.

    I don't have a lot of moles, but have fairly light skin and during the summer, I spent all my spare time working on the perfect tan. I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma several years ago. It was on my upper back, and thankfully Mr. Rose saw it and convinced me to have it checked (obviously I couldn't see it). They did a little biopsy on it, and when it came back as bcc, I returned to have it and a lot of the surrounding tissue removed. Then they biopsy'd that tissue to make sure the bcc was surrounded by healthy tissue (they said that's how they determine they get it all). The two procedures were no big deal really, and now I just have about a 3" scar, which when you consider all the other scars I have from all my other surgeries, it's just one of many. I now go in once/year to get checked, and so far everything's been fine.
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  8. #4578
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    AJane/burnt are absolutely right. If it were anything serious, the doctor would have called, not the receptionist. Also, depending on where the moles are, usually they could be removed in one visit. He may be concerned about the time involved, and the amount of local anesthesia administered (depending on the size of the moles). I would still ask, though.

  9. #4579
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    Thanks, everyone, for the good advice. I'm not worried any more

    And I'll definitely talk to them about taking multiple moles in future visits.

  10. #4580
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Re: Talk about your troubles

    Just wanted to report, I went to the Dermatologist on Friday, and had a big chunk cut out. 7 stitches later, I'm good to go for a while.

    And yesterday, I was knocked out and woke up with 3 wisdom teeth less than I started with.

    I'm starting to feel a bit beat up.

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