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Health, Wellness, Sex and Body Discuss Melanoma at the General Discussion; Originally Posted by dabateman So I got the phone call that I have cancer. Great timing really, considering I'm in ...

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Old 11-06-2011, 08:15 AM
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Default Re: Melanoma

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Originally Posted by dabateman View Post
So I got the phone call that I have cancer. Great timing really, considering I'm in the most stressful semester of law school, but what are you going to do?

At any rate, I have been diagnosed with Melanoma. We're waiting on tests results to see how far it has spread. The doctors cut a huge chunk out of my neck leaving me with a squiggly line and 15 bright blue stitches.

The thing is, I didn't feel sick. I wasn't losing weight (though that would have been nice). The spot didn't itch, or raise, or bleed... I would not have known until it was dangerously late. It was spotted by a nurse six weeks ago.

So... A few questions for my fellow PW'ers

1) Have you ever been out in the sun?
2) Without sunscreen?
3) Is there a segment of skin on your body that you cannot see?
4) Do you have a mole or freckle that has changed color or shape?

If you answer yes to ANY of these questions, please go get yourself checked! If caught early, melanoma is a manageable skin condition. If not, it can be a very deadly cancer.

Stay safe and wear your sunscreen. UVA & UVB, and reapply often.

Melanoma - PubMed Health
I used to stay as brown as a chestnut when I was young but got older (and wiser, although I suppose that is debatable) and now I have spent virtually no time in the sun for the last several years. When I do go out for extended periods I do wear sunscreen. I went to a dermatologist in late June for an unrelated issue and he checked me out while I was there and gave me a clean bill of health.

I hope all goes well and you're over this ordeal quickly.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: Melanoma

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Originally Posted by Mike View Post
I used to stay as brown as a chestnut when I was young but got older (and wiser, although I suppose that is debatable) and now I have spent virtually no time in the sun for the last several years. When I do go out for extended periods I do wear sunscreen. I went to a dermatologist in late June for an unrelated issue and he checked me out while I was there and gave me a clean bill of health.

I hope all goes well and you're over this ordeal quickly.
One might wonder if it isn't our aversion to sunlight that makes us so prone to melanoma. After all, I haven't heard of it in other diurnal animals, many of which spend the majority of every day in direct sunlight.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:57 AM
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One might wonder if it isn't our aversion to sunlight that makes us so prone to melanoma. After all, I haven't heard of it in other diurnal animals, many of which spend the majority of every day in direct sunlight.
Um, that's probably because they have fur.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:07 AM
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I saw a program in Australia where they have a higher then average incidents. It was about skin color. It was very interesting. I'll see if I can find it sometime.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:16 AM
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Um, that's probably because they have fur.
But not not everywhere on their bodies, and not all species. Reptiles for instance have no hair, and elephants have little.

Cattle and their many relatives have hairless snouts, their corneas are certainly exposed as well.

Many equatorial mammals have minimal hair, as well as many marine mammals.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:28 AM
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I understand what you're saying, O. I wonder if there hasn't been an increase since we've been wearing sunscreens and eating hydrogenized fats. lots of them.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:39 AM
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I understand what you're saying, O. I wonder if there hasn't been an increase since we've been wearing sunscreens and eating hydrogenized fats. lots of them.

Skin cancer has always been around.
If you ask me, there's been an increase since we stopped wearing so many clothes, and especially since hats stopped being part of the required public uniform for both males and females (ie, the past century), and since we started living longer (past couple of centuries).
While old age is not the only risk factor for skin cancer, it's probably one of the main ones.
Not to say young people can't get it too, as evidenced by this thread.

Also, people with weakened or suppressed immune systems comprise a sizable percentage of skin cancer patients (I'm referring to people with HIV, people living with various cancers such as leukemia, organ donation recipients, etc), and in the old days there simply were no people like that. If they were sick, they died. They didn't live on in a compromised state long enough to get skin cancer.

Last edited by 1069; 11-06-2011 at 09:49 AM..
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Melanoma

You white people need to stay out of the sun. My Dad had melanomas removed constantly for years.

Thank god I got my mom's beautiful dark olive complexion.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:24 AM
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Default Re: Melanoma

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Originally Posted by DammitBoy! View Post
You white people need to stay out of the sun. My Dad had melanomas removed constantly for years.

Thank god I got my mom's beautiful dark olive complexion.
Although the less serious types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell) are more common in Caucasians and are strongly associated with excessive UV exposure, melanoma is not uncommon in people of color, including African Americans and others of African descent, Asians, Hispanics, Hawaiians, and Native Americans.
Due to delayed diagnosis, melanoma is far more frequently fatal in people of color (for instance, African Americans wit melanoma have a 59% 5-year survival rate, as compared with Caucasians, whose survival rate is over 85%). Additionally, people of color are more likely than their Caucasian counterparts to have thick tumors, which are associated with poor prognoses. All of the above information is available on the Skin Cancer Foundation website.
A lot of this no doubt has to do with the fact that many people of color are uninsured in the US, and therefore do not receive the same quality of screening and medical treatment as more affluent whites, but regardless of any such inequities, people of color clearly are at risk for skin cancer- the most dangerous type. And it apparently acts more aggressively in people of color than it does in whites.
It is irresponsible to promote the idea that only whites are at risk.
It is a disease that we all need to guard against.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Melanoma

Sorry to hear this, D-Man. I'm glad they are able to do something about it!

I'm rather fair skinned, and have suffered numerous sunburns through the years. I guess it's time to add a trip to the dermotologist to my list.

I wish you a speedy recovery, and a clean bill of health :thumb
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