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Does anyone have experience with melanoma in teenagers?

My son is 14 and we have found a spot on his back that turned really dark really fast. His grandmother passed away from melanoma and his dad had stage 2. He has an appointment with a pediatric dermatologist, however his pediatrician at first said he thought it was fine because he is only 14 and that was about a month ago. I took him to his physical last week and now he says it definitely needs to come off. So I was just curious if anyone else has dealt with a similar situation that is around his age. We have always been very careful in the sun and when we go swimming or to the beach he always wears sunscreen and a shirt, however I know the chances are much higher due to it being in his family twice. Any help or reassurance would be so greatly appreciated!

Community Answers
  • Nikkinator
    2 years ago

    While I have no direct experience with pediatric melanoma, I do know that it tends to be more difficult to diagnose than adult melanoma…. mostly because it doesn’t behave exactly the same way, and is (unfortunately) too often “brushed off” as being something else, because it is a rare diagnosis. If you have that “hinky mom sense” that something is wrong, please have a well qualified dermatologist biopsy the mole on your son. You may consider having a second pathology lab confirm any diagnosis you receive from the first.

  • April Pulliam moderator
    2 years ago

    I know you and your son are likely under a lot of stress with the family history of melanoma on your mind. While I haven’t personally dealt with skin cancer in either of my children, I do know the anxiety that comes with family histories of skin cancer. I had melanoma and basal cell carcinoma. My dad and mom have both had basal cell, as well. I watch my teens like a hawk. My daughter had a mole taken off recently–it was a very stressful week of waiting to hear from her biopsy. I think it is a really good sign that you have noticed the mole in the first stages of its changes. If you haven’t arranged for a biopsy, I would recommend you do so as soon as possible to set everybody’s mind at ease or to determine a course of action. Your family doctor or nurse practitioner is, more than likely, capable of taking a quick punch biopsy and sending the specimen off for examination. Keep us posted on what you find out! Sending you good vibes and prayers for good news! April, ( Team)

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