Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Recommended Posts

So reportedly you're supposed to get a full body skin check for cancer annually.  This is why I got one recently--it had been five years, so I was past due.  She snapped a picture of and measured four spots on my back and then said we'd recheck in six months and have to biopsy if they've grown.  She concluded "a biopsy is the last thing you need today" (this was a very PTSD-y thing).

 

So...having gone through that, I'm curious what people's experiences are.  Have you gone for one?  Do you go each year?  Are you somewhere between that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had one and actually forget if I’m supposed to come back. Honestly, the areas I’m worried about are on my face, but years ago I did a lot of tanning for a year so that could come back to bite me. Never had a skin biopsy, just the full exam. Am I the only one who doesn’t like them?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, dancesintherain said:

So...having gone through that, I'm curious what people's experiences are.  Have you gone for one?  Do you go each year?  Are you somewhere between that?

I'm supposed to get one every year because of very pale skin and red hair, but I've skipped a year, and planning on getting it done at my physical due in April....My GP does it, but GP did say that if she ever found anything suspicious, I would have to go to a derm.

I'm not super worried about it because I hardly ever go out in the sun, and have never used a tanning bed in my life....I learned when I was fairly young that I could never get a tan, anyway.

So far, no problems, and haven't needed a biopsy done, but now that I'm getting older, I need to be more vigilant and get a skin check every single year.

Edited by CrazyRedhead
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband is checked every year because he has a lot of moles. He’s had to have a few biopsies and two were removed completely, which was very painful. I don’t get checked because I stay completely out of the sun once the UV index is even moderate. I don’t have any moles that I know about. I lived in New Zealand for 11 years which has a really high melanoma skin cancer rate (ozone hole) and the GP there never told me to get checked. He always checked my husband though. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks sa.  I really don't have many freckles, much less questionable moles.  My mom had skin cancer, which I realize raises the red flag, but as she put it, she grew up in an era where she was outside all the time and without sunscreen.  I didn't.

I might find some compromise plan.  The recheck of my back will be a check of my back only.  The rest we'll take it from there.  It's just a pretty big trauma for something that seems to be a low risk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dermatologist is emphatic about yearly checks, and I've also had it asked about by my OB/GYN and GP whether I'm doing yearly checks.  I am pale with freckles, very few moles though. But my dermatologist advocates for everyone to have yearly checks and wear sunscreen daily.I had a precancerous thing on my face several years back that I only noticed because it was on my face, and I wouldn't have thought it was pre-cancerous, just a vague discoloration. Maybe you can find a compromise between five years and yearly? Maybe every two or two and a half years? And in the interim be very vigilant about keeping an eye on any changes you can see on yourself. I don't think it's necessarily low risk for everybody at this point in time, with the ozone being what it is. I know it's traumatic for you, so obviously it's a big trade off when you have to deal with things like this. And I'm saying this partly from the perspective of someone who didn't get around to two or three mammograms and ended up with a cancer diagnosis that was a little more advanced than it would have been if I'd gone regularly, so I don't think I'll delay any in in the future. Just my thoughts.

I'm unclear -- is your dermatologist aware of your trauma history, and are there any work arounds she might consider? Like, maybe not a full body check, but areas you're more comfortable with, or with a certain amount of clothing on, like a bathing suit?  It seems like some exam would be better than no exam.

ETA: Just to be clear, I'm not in any way trying to minimize how traumatic these exams are for you. And you were a rock star for getting through it the other day.

Edited by Unstrung Harp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never knew this! Can your GP do this or do you need a dermatologist? My GP never mentioned anything about this at my last 2 physicals with her. And my now retired amazing wonderful NP never mentioned this either! I wonder why? I’m not out in the sun much ever and I do wear sunscreen when I’m out for long periods. But still.

That is my experience I guess. I don’t know how helpful this is. If your dr says an annual exam is needed I would go by their recommendation. I know it really is way beyond horrible for you to go through it. I’m sorry I don’t have any advice dances. Just sharing my experience with this topic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, Wonderful.Cheese said:

I never knew this! Can your GP do this or do you need a dermatologist? 

My GP does it for me as part of annual physical......But I guess it depends on the doc and how comfortable they are with it......Some GPs do prefer sending you to a derm.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

no worries cheese ;-) My tdoc seems shocked by the fact that nearly everyone who I talk to gets them done.

Thanks harp.  I did tell my dermatologist about my trauma background and I think she made it as quick as possible. A bathing suit or underwear and bra only might be a decent compromise.  But even with her knowing it and it being quick, it was pretty disastrous mental health-wise.  I ended up in a ball in my therapist's office with him gradually coaxing me out of the ball. 

Maybe two years could be a compromise.  I think it also depends if I'm dating someone. AS a close friend put it, she still does it, but she also knows that her husband would point out if she had something sketchy on her back.  Obviously not the same as the full exam, which she does, but a little less reason to freak out. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...