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#1 of 4 Old 05-21-2002, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was reading on another board about the experiences of people with skin cancer and it occurred to me that I honestly wouldn't know if I had it. I have a lot of moles on my body, and they are not all perfect little flat circles. I almost never go out in the sun, though that isn't a panacea, I realize.

Anyway, what does one do? I have to think that there are many others without few and perfect moles like me. Do you think it is necessary to visit a dermatalogist? How often? And finally, do they do a whole-body check? How does it work?
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#2 of 4 Old 05-21-2002, 04:26 PM
 
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Hi WirterMama-

I think one of the posts you read might have been about my experience with Basal Cell Carcinoma. My opinion there is it doesn't hurt to get your skin checked once a year by a dermatologist. My cancer had nothing to do with a mole, but rather a sore that wouldn't heal. I too have lots of moles, growths, etcetera... My general practitioner missed the cancer many times due to my age (37 now, what I had usually comes in your 50's). Younger and younger people are getting them and dermatologists are specially trained to know what to look for.

The check takes less than 15 minutes. You strip to your panties and bra and the doctor checks your wholdebody including your scalp and the soles of your feet. If s/he sees anything questionable, s/he will remove it and biopsy it. In my case, I had to go to a Plastic Surgeon for the removal because it was on my face.

Good luck with your decision
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#3 of 4 Old 05-21-2002, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Carmen, yes, yours was one of the posts I read. I'm glad you responded. I wasn't sure if it was appropriate to post over there since it wasn't the original question. Thanks for the advice. I think for my peace of mind I will go in. Thank you again and thanks for sharing your experience.
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#4 of 4 Old 05-21-2002, 05:02 PM
 
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Writer Mama-

The "funny" thing is that I used to get yearly dermatologicaal check-ups from the age of 27 until I moved to Norway at 32 years of age. There I couldn't go to a dermatologist without a referral from my family doctor, and she wouldn't give me one. So it was in those 4 years that my carcinoma appeared and grew!

I made my appointment this afternoon for my six month check - I go in two weeks. I'll be psyched to go so that I don't have to worry myself over, "What's this!!!" when I see something
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