Moles looking like a fried egg should be checked
While mole may look symmetrical in shape, moles which have fried egg shape appearance MUST be checked. This mole in particular the patient had noticed the changed shape recently. Despite its innocent shape, when examined under the dermoscopy is showing few key features of a cancer lesion as shown in image 3. This was removed and later confirmed by pathology to be an invasive Malignant Melanoma
Don’t Worry Doc, here never sees the sun!
Don’t worry Doc, here never sees the sun!
It is a very common myth that skin cancer only happens in constantly exposed areas to the sun. I believe that the main culprit for this extremely common mistake is us as physicians introducing sun as the cause of skin cancers without talking enough about other associations with skin cancers. This is now showing itself as either a sun phobia or the wrong belief that skin cancers only happen when the skin is exposed to the sun everyday. The latter can be life threatening.
Every day we see patients that when they come for skin check they don't show the whole body with comments like, I always wear a shirt when I go out, my legs never see the sun, only my arms are not covered when I work just to mention a few.
This is certainly true, that the UV in the sun beam is the main cause of skin cancers in particular SCCs and BCCs. Although we should never forget the other causes like aging, hereditary factors, compromised immunity as well as UV exposure.
Recently at Ellenbrook Skin Cancer Clinic one of our patients is a prime example of the above scenario. This example shows how someone's life could have been threatened seriously if the patient was not willing to have a full body skin check during their examination.
On the day of examining the patients skin two high risk moles with very similar features were found on the right buttock as shown in image 1. Biopsy of both moles where taken, with the mole located on the lower part of the image was confirmed as a Malignant Melanoma. The second one fortunately had not fully transformed to malignant cells (image 2) therefore didn't need extended margins removed.
This current case at Ellenbrook Skin Clinic is an obvious example to why we once again emphasize that skin cancers can appear in areas that don't receive direct sun exposure. It is important to allow your doctor to perform a full thorough skin check, there is no need to be embarrassed as it may save your life if a Malignant Melanoma is found and removed.
Skin cancers can be missed if checked by someone untrained or unskilled -Part 2
Images 5 and 6. The latter is BCC on the forehead
Skin cancers can be missed if checked by someone untrained or unskilled-Part 1
The above patient attended to check a lesion on his left arm. He had a full body check by his usual doctor few months before visiting us at Ellenbrook Skin cancer clinic. At the time he was reassured that there are no cancerous lesions on his skin. Therefore his main concern was the new lump on the left arm evolved 2 months ago and was growing bigger (image 2). This one is confirmed to be an invasive SCC.
Full skin check revealed 3 more cancers despite the reassurance by someone who didn’t have appropriate further education on.
1- Basal Cell Carcinoma -image 1
2- Squamous Cell Carcinoma-image2
3- Melanoma on the back-image 3 and 4
4- Basal Cell Carcinoma on face-image 5 and 6