Skin Cancer Double Whammy, Hutchinsons Melanotic Freckle + Squamous Cell CarcinomaI debated sharing this many times but then I decided that I wish I had been more informed and if I had then I wouldn’t be facing the anxiety that I now am. I decided to mainly as I want to get the message out there that not all cancers look like moles - in fact many dont.
Months ago I noticed a pinkish red bump on my left hand, about the size of a pea, with a little bit of hardened white skin in the centre. I thought that maybe I had a thorn in it and even tried to dig with a needle. As it had been there for months and I was at my doctors anyway, I showed her and she told me was nothing. A few weeks ago my friend went for her annual skin check, she told me that I should go. I have never had one as although I am very fair, I have never really sunbaked (one bad sunburn in early 20s) and have NEVER had a MOLE. I went anyway. The harmless looking red lump on my hand was identified immediately as a squamous cell carcinoma. The second most malignant form of skin cancer – yet even my own dr didn’t recognise it. I didn’t think it for a second. I mean the media always go on about skin cancer and there are posters everywhere. But they only ever warn you to get moles that appear to be changing checked!!!! So I was perfectly immune! ‘the specialist then proceeded to check all over. He detected a second, completely different form of skin cancer on my back where I could never have seen. It was also NOT A MOLE. It is called a Hutchinsons melantoic FRECKLE – which accounts for 1 in 10 malignant skin cancers. My friend asked to look at it and when I showed her she even said that if she had seen it on herself would have thought nothing. Ironically, unlike me, my friend has dozens of moles and yet got a clean bill!!
THE WARNING HERE IS THAT EVEN WITHIN EACH TYPE OF CANCER THERE ARE DOZENS OF DIFFERENT LOOKING ONES. DIFFERENT SHAPES, COLOURS, SIZES, TRANSPARENT ONES, FLAT ONES, FAT ONES ………… ANY LESION THAT HAS BEEN THERE MORE THAN A COUPLE OF WEEKS THAT YOU CANT ACCOUNT FOR, ESPECIALLY IF LOOKS SLIGHTLY IRREGULAR IN SHAPE, MUST BE CHECKED ASPA. Don’t just rely on your family dr as they don’t know all the varieties. Book a skin check at a skin clinic. They have a scanning machine that scans suspicious ones right there and then. Make your family members have a check to and do it every year.
I know the one on my hand has only been a few months so am hopeful that surgery alone will be enough. The hutchinsons, also known as Lentigo malignant melanoma, could have been there years. I have never seen my back, never had a skin check and likely, as looked nothing like a mole, would have ignored it anyway. Its a shame we cant put pics up to warn, or if we can I havent worked out how. the hutchinsons looks like a larger than normal freckle, a little darker though and a highly irregular shape, it is totally flat.
I have only just started what I hope will be a short journey but hopefully this warning will encourage others to get preventative checks. Mine were already malignant once detected.
warney26 51-55, F 0 Feb 2, 2013