Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"I'm concerned I might have cancer, what do you think? "
I'm a very fare skinned, freckled 18-year old. Skin cancer runs in the family and recently I have noticed that a few moles I have are changing and some new ones are appearing. I have a new mole on my right breast and then an older one underneath it. The newer one really worries me. It's light brown and its not the typical mole shape, it seems to be getting bigger and changing its form, its now like a long oval shape with scratchy ends. On top of this, I haven't been able to eat but one meal a day, if I eat meat I now throw up (ehich was never the case), I cannot sleep much anymore (about 2 hours a night), and I've been having a hard time breathing. My doctors don't seem to care and won't even look at the 3 moles that are a concern to me. I needed doctor advice so I can figure out what's going on with me.
A mole is a benign growth of melanocytes, the melanin-producing cells that are primarily responsible for skin color. Very few moles become cancer, however, it is good idea that you are proactive and keep an eye out for these dangerous moles which can be linked to skin cancer. This is especially true since you have fair skin and a family history of skin cancer. I recommend being evaluated by a dermatologist. Moles that are of great medical concern are those that have different color or appearance than your existing moles. They are moles that have asymmetrical shape where they do not look the same on both sides. Their borders or edges are irregular and uneven. They contain many colors that can include lightening (white and red) and mostly darkening of the mole (in the shades of tan, brown, and black). They are larger than the size of a pencil eraser (about 1/4 inch or 6 mm). They tend to change in color, shape, size, and border. These abnormal moles can develop into melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, over time. It is unusual to acquire new moles in your age so you are right to be always suspicious of new moles. I recommend that you have them checked out immediately by preferably a dermatologist. Only your doctor can distinguish them and if they are determined to be cancerous, he or she will take a skin biopsy that shows how deeply they penetrate the skin. The good news is that skin cancer can be cured if it is found at its earliest stage when treatment is most likely to be effective.
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