Patient Comments: Melanoma (Skin Cancer) - Risk Factors and Causes

Question:

What risk factors do you have for melanoma? What are your concerns? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: KelsEllie, Female (Patient) Published: June 21

I'm a 26 year old female that has lived on the coast most of my life. I was an ocean lifeguard for the last three summers and now live in the cloudless, blue skies of Colorado. I have red hair, very pale skin and freckles and got at least 5 severe sunburns growing up, before I realized how important taking care of your skin was. Two of those sunburns had me in the emergency room for steroids. I just had a hysterectomy in April. I have a history of endometriosis and HPV (human papilloma virus) as well as cervical cancer. All 3 of these things have been linked to higher risks of developing melanoma, and this is in addition to my risk factors of hair and skin color. I'm having a very scary mole removed this Wednesday. The mole is on my stomach, right in the middle, about 3 inches above my navel. It used to be small and red, but in the last 2 months it has changed back and forth between light red, bright red and black. That cycle continues. It is asymmetrical, has uneven borders, is raised and discolored. I'm so freaking scared.

Comment from: deblf, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

My biggest concern about melanoma is that I have shown two different dermatologists my new black dot spots which have been disregarded as nothing, even though one doctor's physician's assistant already found a 1st stage melanoma on my upper right arm. Both dermatologists have never heard of black dot melanoma so my black dots are also nothing! I just found out today that my white blood count is high, which it never is when I am sick, even with severe upper respiratory infections and related illnesses such as bronchitis or even pneumonia. We are in Montana and specialists, even doctors are hard to find in this sparsely populated state. Thanks for listening.

Comment from: Mamat78, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 01

My sister passed away at the very young age of 31 as a result of melanoma. I was diagnosed with stage 1B melanoma four years ago. It was removed surgically; I went in every six months for a check. I have been cancer free, but the fear is so great. I have been told a lot of the time it will return; sometimes it actually will be in the same area that it was removed.

IMAGES

Melanoma See a pictures of malignant melamona as well as other noncancerous, precancerous and cancerous tumors See Images

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Cancer Report Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.

CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW