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Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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seen it growing pretty rapidbly and bleeding almost every day..mole

Customer Question

she found the mold last summer and isn''t sure if it was always there or if it just appeared out of nowhere. Anyway, over the last few weeks she has seen it growing pretty rapidbly and bleeding almost every day. It also changed in elevation and both sides of the mole look quite different. There are other details but I thought I''d start there. We are VERY scared and while she does have a Dr.s appointment on 1/23 we all feel that she needs to get in sooner. Which she aggress with and is trying to do but we don''t know much else in that area. Thank you in advance!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

Are you able to post a digital picture of the mole here?

What is your location?

How is the rest of her health?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Pauline's Post: Not at this time, I actually just suggested to her that she have my father-in-law take a digital picture of the mole. I'll most likely be able to find out whether she was able to do this later on today. Do you mean the location of the mole? It's on her back. She's in pretty decent health, although she is a type 2 (I beileive)diabetic where she controls it with diet, exercise and oral medication. She is very active also. One other thing that I don't believe I mentioned before...her Grandmother had melanoma cancer and while they tried surgery she did eventually (by my understanding within just a few short months) die, because the cancer had spread to far.
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

Thank you for the extra information. I also wanted to know where you live as there are different protocols depending on your location. Our local dermatology clinic offers a mole clinic once weekly as from the history you mention above, I think the signs are there that this should be checked out sooner rather than having to wait another 3 weeks.

There are definite warning signs, such as the change in shape, the bleeding and the irregularity.

Also history of sun exposure, such as sun bathing is also important. Is the mole on a part of the skin that was exposed frequently or had history of sunburn in the past?

Fast removal of these lesions once they start to change is very important and it may be that a definitive diagnosis won't be made until the results of analysis are back from the lab.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Pauline's Post: My in-laws live in Utah, while My husband and our childen live on a military base in Southern California. She was visiting the tanning beds for several weeks last summer. Other than that I don't think she had a real problem with sun exposure on her back. History of sunburn, that I'm really not sure. I realize that this needs to be done fast and that's why I'm so frightned. After I get your answers to this reply I will hit you with my main concerns and questions. Thanks
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

Sunbeds can be a bad idea for people with a family history of melanoma as often it takes only a few more episodes of skin damage to trigger the faulty repair mechanism allowing the development of cancer.

The key thing now is to have this removed and analyzed as quickly as possible. there are different stages of melanoma, and early removal before it spreads has a very high survival rate.

What is worrying you in particular?

Pauline and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Pauline's Post: well, first of all because I'm new to this site I'm concerned that by giving my credit card information that it can be dipped into without my consent. that of course is just strictly from a identy theft/financial concern.
The larger concern that I have for my mother in law are these...
1. Is it possible that this could be something completely harmless and nothing to worry about at all?
2. How long from the time that she would start seeing the mole change in shape and elevation could it progress to stage III or stage IV. (Yes, I've done quite a bit of research).
3. In the research that I've done it seems to say that when a mole reaches the point where it's bleeding it has passed over into the level III and IV range.
I've shared some of my research with my husand and with my mother-in-law, but that last part I've left out and haven't told anyone, simply because I don't want to scare them as much as I've scared myself! Maybe I'm not understanding what the sites that I've been reading about are really saying, but from what I've learned, when you take all of the other information into account it, they are saying that the bleeding is a sign of a later stage of melanoma. Which to me means that if this is what she has, her survival rate would be much less than if she were in a stage 1 or 2. Like I said, it has me absolutley terrified because this woman happens to mean the world to me and to all of us!
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

I can reassure you about the first part, Just Answer is a respectable company and your credit card details are well protected. If you have any concerns contact [email protected]

The second part of your concerns I do understand, and I share some of your concern. Staging is a combination of appearance of the melanoma itself and if it has spread. The fact that it is bleeding may be due to ulceration, which is a concern for stage 2 or above, or it may be due to the fact that it was irritated and the top has been scratched off. The prognosis is worse for stage 4 because it has spread through the body , and unfortunately only a CT scan and lymph node analysis is going to allow us to find that out.

However even in stage 4, some patients do have a 5 year survival expectation so you so need to keep positive until we can find out exactly what is going on. If the changes are recent, then that is hopeful that the melanoma (if this is what it is) has not reached the lymph system yet.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Ok, thank you for the information. I'm still (understandabley)concerned. But I'm hoping that in the coming days and weeks, we will find some good information when she meets with her current doctor. You have helped me with some of my concerns and I hope that all will come out well with what we discover. If you happen to pray, we would love it if you could include her in your prayers!!! Thanks again! XXXXX!
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

I do know how worried you are, the next few weeks will be hard, but once you know for sure what the situation is, then dealing with that will be your next focus. The uncertainty is often the worst of all.

If you need to come on line, to discuss the findings or treatment options then you can reopen your question at a later date once it times out. I may not be online at that time but I do check frequently.

In the meantime, do stay positive and your mother will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Best wishes

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you so much!!! Even the empathy of a stranger mean so very much right now! I can't even begin to tell you how much she means to all of us and the thought of going on without her is quite unbearable! Thank you SO MUCH for your thoughts and prayers (they mean a great deal to us)!!! I'll keep you posted as we go through the process. Thanks again!!!