The first sign of melanoma is often a change in the size, shape, color or feel of a mole. Most have a black or blue-black area. In watching for changes in your moles, remember the following “ABCD” signs:
- Asymmetry: The shape of one half of the mole does not match the other.
- Border: The mole's edges are ragged, notched, or irregular. The pigment, or color, may spread to the surrounding skin.
- Color: The color is uneven. Shades of black, brown, tan, white, gray, red, pink or blue may be seen.
- Diameter: There is a change in size, usually an increase. Melanomas are usually larger than a pencil eraser.
Annoying sods the whole world over.
She has a mole that has changed shape, and has an irregular border. I happen to think that she should get it checked out by a doctor, because it might be the early stages of a melanoma (and remember, we have free health care in the UK, so it won’t cost her anything).
But of course – she doesn’t want to go, despite me shouting at her in person and down the phone.
Why? Well, she is either scared, doesn’t want to ‘bother’ the GP or thinks that the GP will ‘strike her off the register’ for wasting the GP’s time.
And of course she won’t let me come along to persuade the GP to refer to a dermatologist at the local hospital.
What she doesn’t realise is that I see people who I think are ‘undeserving’ of medical attention getting hospital treatment, and to see her refuse to be examined makes me angry that these other people get seen, but that my mother might die because of some stupid idea she has in her head.
I see it a lot, when I turn up at some little old lady, hovering around death’s door, and the first thing they say is “I didn’t want to bother you”, and it always makes me angry.
So the purpose of this post is to remind you to look after your own health (and that means checking for skin cancer – 7,000 people are diagnosed every year in th UK, and 1,700 die from it).
And also to see if this will change my mothers mind about seeing her GP.
Feel free to berate her in the comments…