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Old 13-08-2013, 01:50   #1
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Melanoma

Melanoma, malignant or benign, is a serious matter. In 2005 I had benign melanoma removed from the sclera of my eye. The surgeon had to cut several layers deep. What is interesting is that it did not show on a full eye exam less than 4 months prior. The exam was performed by my ophthalmologist with who I schedule an OV every 6 months.

Dermis is not the only organ which is susceptible to UV radiation. And yes, skin tone or ethnicity does not preclude development of melanoma. Even non-cancerous melanoma will (not can, not if...) metastasize quite rapidly.
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Old 13-08-2013, 10:25   #2
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Re: Melanoma

Sobering info. Thanks.
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Old 13-08-2013, 11:19   #3
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Re: Melanoma

Alchemy, thank you for noticing.

A few further facts; this country doctor practicing in a rural area said it's not rare, he sees about 10 cases per yr with exactly what I had...benign melanoma on sclera. I thought this remarkable since this was in low population area. It would be significantly, statistically speaking, to extrapolate the documented cases into a larger population.

Also, he, the ophthalmologist, spelled out 3 likely scenarios if I did nothing. One, it would migrate to fill my pupil to become a cataract, then to weave it's way through the optic nerve. Two, it would diffuse through the porous bone above the eye socket into my brain. Three, it would diffuse throughout my body and into other organs. Less than two weeks after diagnosis I had surgery. The surgery was performed in the middle of June. The Dr said if I chose to do nothing I would not live to see Christmas. Likely, my last remaining weeks would be on comfort medications in hospice care.

Note; because any lesion or growth on the eye will (not if) metastasize so very rapidly, a biopsy is not performed, all growths on the eye are treated as malignant.

Several follow up OVs and long discussions...he knows what he's talking of, board certified, a fellow in his trade, he's a surfer, whatever your ethnicity you are at risk.
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Old 13-08-2013, 11:27   #4
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pirate Re: Melanoma

Well... being a Blond (Grey), blue eyed Aryan I call mine freckles...
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Old 13-08-2013, 11:28   #5
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Re: Melanoma

Thanks for this report. Did you first notice this growth because of a varient in pigmentation?
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Old 13-08-2013, 12:25   #6
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Re: Melanoma

I was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma on the side of my head. Even though I (luckily) have a thick head of hair I had noticed a scab forming on my scalp. Let it go for a few months thinking I had scratched or cut my head somehow.

Was diagnosed this past February and now after 3 surgeries, 2 lymph nodes and extensive reconstructive surgery have been declared cancer-free (fingers crossed!). Not looking for sympathy just passing it on hoping to encourage awareness and quick action.
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Old 13-08-2013, 12:31   #7
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Re: Melanoma

I've had two really close friends die from it.

I think about it a lot.
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Old 13-08-2013, 12:38   #8
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Re: Melanoma

I see my opthomologist every three months and get checked by dermatologist every year. Found some basil cell stuff but so far I am clean (fingers crossed). Yes, melanoma is nothing to take for granted, it can be small but once it penetrates the protective layers of skin, it is very agressive. We, in boats, out on the water are particularly at risk.
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Old 13-08-2013, 13:01   #9
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Re: Melanoma

Luckily I've not had melanoma. My brother has had 3 surgeries on the same area of his back for it. I had my first skin cancer tumor removed in '85 (on my lower lip) and several since but not melanoma. Have had other cancer surgeries too.

Skin cancer or cancer of any kind is nothing to take lightly and I truly can't believe there are folks out there that are not taking care of themselves by using sun screens, big hats and long sleeves on very bright days. Some of these unprotected folks are very intelligent in other ways. I just can't figure out why they don't want to realize it can happen to them. Some otherwise smart people use tanning beds.

I guess its like smoking. It just won't happen to them.

Thanks for the thread and an introduction to the topic and a sharing of your experience.

kind regards,
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Old 13-08-2013, 13:11   #10
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pirate Re: Melanoma

Or... we could just be fatalistic... so far.. so good..
I go for a check up feeling fine... I come out dying of something... doctors clinics a really unhealthy places..
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Old 13-08-2013, 13:35   #11
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Re: Melanoma

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Or... we could just be fatalistic... so far.. so good..
I go for a check up feeling fine... I come out dying of something... doctors clinics a really unhealthy places..

whoopee!!! we ALL gonna die......


sorry country joe, but it is fact, no one gets out alive.

is how we spend our adventure.

go to your checkups, do alla that....enjoy your life and lifestyle. is all we have.

personally, i avoid the checkups also, but i am smart about my condition and i know what is in those places.
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Old 13-08-2013, 13:41   #12
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It's a scary subject but good to visit it once in a while. Both of my parents have malignant melanoma so I made it my business to learn since it increases my risk. Basically everyone is at some degree of risk. My dermatologist explained I believe 5 categories people are classified as with Cat 1 being the classic red head and pale skin and Cat 5 being the darkest of black skin (pc African american) like many Nigerians. The darker skin gets melanoma in places like under finger nails where less pigment is present and red heads are at risk head to toe which is where I fall.

So even if you have an olive or darker complexion please be careful. My father (olive complexion) developed an area on his back that must have been through clothing because he rarely was without a shirt over the years.

UV blocking clothing, sunscreen and hats are your friend. Otherwise you get to look like someone attacked you with a melon ball scooper. Scary stuff.

SC
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Old 13-08-2013, 13:49   #13
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Re: Melanoma

strange how that is how the genetic trend is supposed to work--i am of red and fair--my baby sister is almost dark golden with browneyes--and she has been having surgeries on her legs for multiple malignant melanoma our genes seem to have hooked into them.
my dad's moms sister died of multiple malignant melanoma--aunt betty was a dark haired danish woman who was a sun worshipper an d ziegfield girl. beautiful lady--one of my 4 favorite great aunts

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Old 13-08-2013, 14:10   #14
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Re: Melanoma

+1 Good thread
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Old 13-08-2013, 14:22   #15
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Re: Melanoma

I have had them all melanoma on my back and head, squamous cell carcinoma in my neck and face and basal cell carcinoma, and am now recovering from 35 radiation treatments to my neck( total 7000 rads of radiation). It is no fun and debilitating. But I want to live a full life, so do what I have to to ensure a healthy future.

If you have had skin cancer, checkup every 3-6 months, if not once a year. Where protective clothing and sun block EVERY TIME you go out. I know you don't like sun block, neither do I but the alternative of radiation or surgery and chemo is far worse. Also wear polaroid sun lasses with UV protection, saves the eyes.
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