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Is there anybody out there?

  • By sleepyesper

    I’m reposting this since I got no response, but the other day I was in the bathroom and examining myself in the mirror as I do on occasion and noticed a freckle on my mid back that caught me off guard until I realized it had always been there upon looking at some shirtless pictures I took in the mirror years ago that show my back. I did the ABCDE “test” and the only one that checks off so far is C, because the edge of the freckle is a bit darker than the rest. My mother looked at it and said it was nothing but she’d say that if I had an eye hanging out of my socket, and I sent a picture of it to my dad and he said it just looked like a freckle. Should I be worried or am I being a total hypochondriac? (which I have a long history of being). You can see the spot in my display picture, and I know I should see a doctor either way, but can somebody tell me what they think? I swear if it wasn’t for that tiny little edge being slightly darker I wouldn’t have even thought twice because as I said, it’s smaller than a pencil eraser and has been for years. I’d also like to add that I don’t go out much. I hate the beach, I hate the pool, I over all hate the sun and I’m literally two pointy teeth away from being a vampire, or does that not matter?

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  • By Eileen.B Moderator

    I understand your concern, @sleepyesper. I don’t believe getting a skin cancer screening is hypochondria at all — it’s wise prevention! As much as I’d love to tell you not to worry, the only person that can allay your fears is a dermatologist.

    Even the top dermatologist on earth couldn’t answer the question “is this cancer?” from a photograph. Nor can doctors diagnose with visual examinations alone — they use many tools from powerful magnifiers to biopsies, then a pathologist uses a microscope to look for the abnormal cells that indicate cancer. You could check the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery for a free screening near you or a free SPOTme Skin Cancer Screening .

    One thing you can do right now is photograph it to monitor for changes. In your photo, lace a dime or staple next to the spot for a size gauge; some people keep a skin cancer body map for a little extra peace of mind, or use an app like MoleMapper. I know this isn’t the answer you were hoping for, but I hope it helps you take the next steps so you can banish the worrying. -Eileen, SkinCancer.net Team

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  • By Ronni Gordon Moderator

    @sleepyesper, I have a longterm relationship with a doctor who says it’s OK to email photos. But they’re hard to see and she always tells me to come in, so they’re just kind of a preview. We can’t tell anything from your photo. You sound like me because I also get wound up about a lot of things! Just make the call, get an appointment, and try to focus on something else. Even if it is skin cancer, they’ll take care of it. Just look at all the advocates who are sharing their stories and who are alive and well after skin cancer. Here’s something that I wrote about ruminating over a spot. See, you’re not the only one. https://skincancer.net/life-with-skin-cancer/ruminating/

    Ronni, SkinCancer.net Team

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    • By sleepyesper

      Thank both of you for responding. The insight is helpful. I am really convinced that it’s just a freckle and that I’m over reacting, but as soon as I’m able, I intend to have it looked at, and I’ll certainly be posting again if it worsens, but I hope to God I won’t have to. Thank you, again ✌

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